Skip to main content

Full text of "Brown as a berry. A novel"

See other formats








% fofel 



" Im Leben fern, 
Ini nalie." 






[All rights of Translation and Seproduction are renerved.] 







HE day great with the event of the Mac- 
Nabs' intended ball has arrived. Mrs. 
Napier and Eerrier are staying at Quentinshope 
with the MacNabSj old Mrs. Eerrier being left at 
Carmylie with the children. The commotion 
usual on any domestic crisis reigns supreme at 
Quentinshope ; there is a continual running up 
and down stairs from the lower regions : a bang- 
ing and slamming of doors ; the servants grow 
'' short of temper/'' and Archie,, finding any 
any appeal to the bell useless, pathetically asks 
his sisters whether the whole household is going 
to the ball too, as they appear established on the 
staircase, and deaf to all his entreaties for shaving 
water. The ball is to be held in Queensmuir 
town-hall, for the reason that Quentinshope has 
been lately very elaborately painted and orna- 

VOL. III. 1 


mented in the Louis Quatorze style by a Parisian 
decorator, and the MacNabs are unwilling to risk 
any damage to what has cost them a great deal 
of money. As many of the visitors come from 
the country, dancing -will begin at eight p.m., to 
admit of breaking up before Sunday morning 
comes in. It is now a little past six o'clock 
p.m. The family have dined early, and are all 
engaged in dressing for the ball. Mrs. Napier 
has been closeted in her room for two hours, and 
if the result is not astonishing, it will not be the 
fault of either herself or her handmaiden. 

" I never bargained, Anne, for such a prepos- 
terous thing as the erection of two raised daises 
in the middle of the room,''' exclaims Mr. MacNab, 
coming out of his dressing-room to his wife's 
room, with a towel in hand. 

" It's bong-iong, Archie,'' replies Mrs. 
MacNab, complacently combing her scanty sandy 
locks over a large frizette. " You don't know 
what bong-tong is, but I do." 

" Perhaps I don't, but I know what being 
made a fool is," says IMacNab, drying his hands. 
'^ I entrusted all these matters to you, and 
was amazed to find you had ordered such a 

" Such observations are very cle tropp from 
you, Archie," returns his wife, putting another 


frizette on her head, and combing the remainder 
of her hair on it. 

" And for my part, I think it great nonsense 
having this ball on Lola^s birthday. It will mark 
her age for ever. People will say in a year or 
two, ^Oh, she must be at least such and such an age. 
Why, she was twenty-one in October, 1872.^ ^' 

" Lola will be married before long/' pursues 
Mrs. MacNab, twisting in thick plaits and long 
curls in addition to her own hair. ^'^ There's 
Mr. Lefroy and Mr. Mark, not to count Jardine, 
at the Bank.'' 

" Mr. Mark will have to show up his colours 
pretty well before he gets Lola. One never 
knows what those fellows do when they are 
abroad. He may have two or three wives in 
China for what any one can find out," answers 
Mr. MacNab, struggling with a white tie. " As 
for Jardine, Lola is of an age to please herself^ 
but if she does marry him, I'll cut her off with — 
not a shilling, but a quarter of a farthing. He's 
a smirking, vain prig." 

'^Archie, Archie, you're on my dress," says 
Mrs. MacNab, looking behind at the train of her 
pink velvet gown. 

'^ Well, you were always a good-looking 
woman, Anne, and your dress is really handsome. 
There is not another woman in Queensmuir who 



could wear pink as you dO;" replies Mr. MacNab, 
fastening a diamond necklace round his wife's fat 

'^ We Jardines were always celebrated for our 
complexions !" returns Mrs. MacNab^ in the tone 
of voice in which the 10th remarked, ^^ We don^t 
dance V' 

" If Mr. Mark is a married man, something 
ought to be done to him for going about as 
though he were unmarried/' exclaims Mrs. 
MacNab, energetically. 

'^ I don't think Lola's heart is touched, but it 
will be best to tell her in time. I see no 
prospect myself of either of the girls going off the 

"Mr. Lefroy has been very attentive to Lola." 

" Not the sort of attention I paid you, Anne, 
thirty years ago. "Well, there's no one here, so 
you need not mind my saying how long ago it is. 
But if you want to see any one head over ears in 
love, it's Dods with Miss Rutherfurd.^' 

^' Mrs. Napier's governess." 

" That is to be Mrs. Dods on Tuesday first ; 
only two whole days off now. After all I am glad 
the girls are not going off yet. We've spent a 
great deal on their education, and one thing and 
another, and now we are just beginning to have 
some pleasure out of them, they must needs want 


to leave us. Anne/^ pausing, and not sure how 
the next words will be received by Mrs. J\lac- 
Nab, " Anne, about these daises. There is time 
enough to send into Queensmuir to have them 

"Archibald'/' says Mrs. MacNab, '^'11 not 
have the daises touched ! You will sit on one 
and I on the other to receive our guests, and if 
you won^t do it I shall remain at home. I will 
not be affronted in this way." 

" Well, well, Anne,'' returns Mr. MacNab, 
soothingly, and inserting his arms into the 
sleeves of his evening-dress swallow-tail. 

" Well, well, Archibald/' proceeds his wife, 
"that coat does not set very well. It's all 
creases up the back, and looks as if you had 
been to bed in it. I am going to take my own 
way about the ddisesJ^ 

"Well, Anne," repeats Mr. MacNab, trying 
hard to obtain a view of his back by looking 
hard over his shoulder, and nearly cracking the 
vertebrae of his neck in the attempt, " every one 
will be laughing at us. It is just as though we 
were the king and queen." 

'* So we are, of Queensmuir," returns his wife, 
stoutly, " are we not the richest people in this 
part of Kilniddryshire, and could buy up Lilies- 
hill and Carmylie, and all Queensmuir, if it 


were for sale to-morrow ? Lola can look higher 
than Mr. Mark_, or Mr. Lefroy either, with his 
fidgety bits of old china, which haven-'t near the 
appearance of a good bit of Wedgwood, or that 
majolica which, to my taste, is trnly sweet, and 
nice, genteel, and handsome, and has some show 
about it. It is of no use, Archibald, to stand 
there trying to talk me over, for I won^t listen, 
and if you are not going to do as I wish, you 
may entertain the people as you can.''^ 

*^But, Anne, such a thing was never heard 
of/^ expostulates Mr. MacNab. ^'I shall blow 
up that tailor next time I go to Middleby, as 
sure as my name is Archibald MacNptb.^^ 

" The more reason it should be heard of 
now,^^ says Mrs. MacNab, walking along before 
the mirror with her arms folded, and a lace 
pocket-handkerchief, fan, and scent-bottle, and a 
j)air of gloves with ten buttons, in her hand, to 
see the effect of her train. " If you had listened 
to me, Archibald, we should have had a fine 
crest and coat of arms long ago." 

"I can never get you to see, Anne, that it 
would have been ridiculous for us, considering 
who my father and mother were. They were 
honest people," replies Mr. MacNab, a little 
proudly, "but anything like a crest is absurd." 

" Well, and if they were poor and worked for 


their living, it was tlirough adverse circum- 
stances. Your father was of the clan MacNab, 
and your mother of the clan MacDougal/^ 

^' All of the name of Stuart are not related to 
the king/^ answers Mr. MacNab. 

" The Lefroys^ heir was just a grocer in 
London ; but he sports no end of crests, and 
comes down to Queensmuir quite the haut-iong. 
Archibald, do you think my dress is trojyp de 
coltee r' 

'^ If you would say it in English I should 
have a better idea of your meaning.-''' 

^^ La, now, Archibald, you should get up a 
few French phrases, it sounds so well. Is there 
anything more I want? No, I think I have 
e very thin g,''"' and Mrs. MacNab floats like a 
frigate in full sail to the hall, where a shadowy 
crowd of servants is assembled to witness the 
splendours of their mistress. 

" What a costly dress, Mrs. MacNab,'' ex- 
claims Charity. 

'' La, Mrs. Napier, do you really think so ? 
It's just a little cheap velvet at fourteen shillings 
a yard. Where are the gurls? Mr. Ferrier, 
I see you are ready, and perusing the news- 

Ferrier lays down the Kilnid dry shire Adver- 
tiser, in which he has been reading ^' Supposed 


death by drowning of the escaped prisoner^ 
William Gow. No trace has yet been dis- 
covered of Gow^s body, although the river has 
been carefully dragged. It will be remembered 
his clothes were found in the dock and his hat 
in the water, so he must have committed the 
rash act deliberately. The police have in no way 
relaxed their vigilance, and a suitable reward is 
still offered to whoever will produce Gow^s body, 
dead or living. Great praise is due to the police 
for their vigilant, and untiring efforts,^^ and he 
assists in placing a cloak round Charity without 
disturbing her smooth hair. 

" Mamma, your head-dress is crooked V' says 
Lola, and Mrs. MacNab and she depart to arrange 
it properly, Lola further remarking her mother^s 
coiffure is like a skinned rabbit. 

" Wonder whether Dods will let IMiss Kuther- 
furd come to-night V observes Mr. MacNab. 

" I did not know you had invited her," 
answers Charity. 

" I always intended doing so. I joked Dods 
about the officers from Edinburgh, but I don^t 
think he half liked it, so I had to drop it. They 
are not a very well assorted pair. Jane, run up to 
tell your mother to be quick ! The horses will 
take cold waiting so long." 

Jane obeys her father's injunctions, but does 


not return. Mr. MacNab becoming impatient^ 
rings the front door bell loudly, sends a servant 
with a message that it is getting late, keeping 
up a salvo on the bell all the time. 

"Tell your master the more he rings the 
longer I will be. Lola, give me another hair 
pin/^ Then as the domestic goes back to Mr. 
MacNab, " Your father has taken the tig, Lola. 
He refused to wear his robes, which he could 
have done perfectly well, as he once was Provost 
of Middleby, but I have made him give in about 
the seats. Fancy he would hardly do it, although 
I told him it would spoil the evening. Well, I 
suppose I may as well go now. Lola, take care 
of that nail at the corner of the landing, which 
always tears the braid off the bottom of one^s 
dress," and Mrs. MacNab, feeling quite master 
and mistress of Mr. MacNab and the world, 
appears, ready to get into the carriage at once, 
and soothe her husband^s ruffled plumes. 

To Thyrza the last few days have passed very 
agreeably at the Bank. Her trousseau has come 
home, and has been inspected by the majority of 
Queensmuir, who have called to examine the 
dresses, and pass an opinion thereupon. Mrs. 
Hislop has not had so many callers since she 
herself was a bride, and sat in state for a week 
in violet satin to receive visitors, and the con- 


sumption of cake and wine has been considerable. 
The Hislops are people of extreme respect, 
ability, and some wealth. None of their an- 
cestors had ever been given to fastness. It did 
not run in their peaceable Lowland blood. 
The line of farmers, and afterwards tanners and 
saddlers, from whom thev were descended, and 
who now slept in the parish kirkyard with more 
or less hideous heavy monuments '^ erected to 
their memory ,^^ had plodded quietly on their 
way, without a desire beyond that of amassing 
money, and had left some pounds and an unsul^ 
lied name to their descendants. The Hislops 
own the Bank house, with a garden behind, some 
fields, and several shops and houses in Queensmuir, 
of which town they considered themselves the 
chief family and ruling potentates, with the one 
exception of the strong-minded Baron Bailie. 

Thyrza has received a letter of congratulation 
from her aunt, Mrs. Salton, of Marshley Hall, 
and a large inkstand, for which the minister paid 
the carriage. The minister has acquainted the 
Butherfurds of their granddaughter's approach- 
ing marriage, and in reply has come a very bi-ief 
epistle, acknowledging the '' receipt of Mr. Dods' 
favour/-' which shows him that Thyrza has been 
fully justified in the course she has pursued with 
regard to her relatives, who arc ^' county 


people/^ Cousin Jemima and Karen-Happuch 
have presented Thyrza with " Blair^s Sermons/'' 
and a note containing a sincere wish she may- 
read and profit by them. Two of the days of 
Thyrza's stay in Queensmnir being wet_, she has 
had an opportunity of realizing what her future 
will be like with the minister at the manse. 
She tries to be very good, and endeavours to 
read a sermon. This will be capital practice for 
her. The minister will sit with her as he does 
at the Bank. She supposes they will not talk 
much more than they do now_, although then 
they will be quite alone. The minister and she 
have not many ideas in common; and when one 
person takes an interest in music and poetry, and 
the other is always thinking of the efficacy of 
prayer, whether the planets are inhabited, and 
by what sort of people, the politics of the day, 
the advanced rate of living, and so forth, it will be 
seen that their conversation would be apt to fall 
flat. Thyrza thinks she must read no more of 
Byron. She has been, like most young persons, 
captivated by the glow of colour, and the dash and 
melancholy of his poetry. And now she will only 
have such books as Blair^s Sermons to amuse her. 
The minister is fond of music. Thyrza plays to 
him every day after dinner, with the usual re- 
sult of lulling him to sleep in the middle of 


Beethoven or Scliumann. He does not mean to 

be a Darbarian, but long classical pieces of music 

invariably exercise a soporific influence on him, 

while on the contrary a lively air keeps him 

wide awake. A couple of wet days will be 

found trying to most ordinary lovers. Thyrza 

is quite glad when the boys come up to lunch 

from the office as a break in the monotony of 

the morning. But how will it be in the manse^ 

where there are no Hislop boys to effect a 

diversion ? The time is fast drawing on now. 

The minister has got "the lines'''' ready, and 

the wedding-cake has been taken to Carmylie 

by William Burnet, the farmer of Carmylie 

Mains. Mrs. Hislop on her part is thankful her 

sons are not of a marriageable age, Tertius 

having been discovered writing a poem " To my 

Lost Love/'' beginning — 

" Sweetest Thyrza, adored of my heart, 
Soon, too soon, fate bids us part," 

and so on, with the used-up rhymes of ever and 
sever, and moon, June, and spoon, when he 
ought to have been making up the Bank books ; 
and Tom having played the truant one day, was 
found to have trudged right up the Chapelton 
Glen to the loch for some trembling grass 
Thyrza had expressed a wish to have for her 
dress. And, however well-connected Thyrza 


may be, Mrs. Hislop does not consider her a 
desirable match for her Tertius or her Tom. 
Thyrza has become accustomed to the minister. 
Habit is said to be everything, and even eels 
grow used to being skinned, although history has 
not preserved the name of the person to whom 
this revelation was made, and there is no evi- 
dence led to show that, albeit one eel did not 
object, all the race still prefer their skins being 
off rather than on. 

"You can put on this locket, Robertina/'' says 
Thyrza, kindly. She has helped Miss Hislop 
to dress for the ball. There is a certain proud 
spirit about her of independence which cannot 
endure to receive benefits without being able in 
some way to give a return. Robertina is grateful 
for Thyrza''s assistance, not having much eye for 
colour, and she is anxious to look her best for 
young Mr. Burnetts sake. Thyrza is desirous 
also to show how well and happy and prosperous 
she is, that Ferrier may be a witness of her good 

" Oh, not that locket, my dear,^-* returns Mrs. 

'' Why not ? I should like Robertina to wear 

" Because that is the one Cousin James gave 
you. If he sees Miss Robertina with it, it will 


look as if you thought lightly of it. The love 
of a good man is a great possession. Miss 

" Oh yes, I know/' replied Thyrza, fastening 
the minister's chain and locket ; " what a tire- 
some catch this thing has V 

^' Cousin James told me to say that he would 
like to see you if you had a few minutes to spare 
before going/' 

" I can go now." 

" You have forgotten his ring." 

" Oh, to be sure ! I must not forget to mark 
myself ^ sold.' " 

^^Miss E/Utherfurd, don't be too hard upon 
Cousin James. If you are, it will break his 

" A broken heart ! That would be a phe- 
nomenon ! I have half a mind to try if his 
would break, just for the fun of the thing." 

Mrs. Hislop does not look pleased, and Thyrza 
runs up to her. 

" Don't be too hard upon me, Mrs. Hislop," she 
says, appealingly. " I say a great many things 
I don't mean, and I don't take time to think 
before I speak ; but I'll do everything I can to 
be a good minister's wife and make Mr. Dods 
happy. I will indeed, and you have all been so 
good to me that I hope you will come and stay 


witli me^ with us, at the manse, when Cousins 
Jemima and Keren-Happuch come. It won^t 
be so bad with them_, then. Oh ! I never meant 
to have said that.^^ 

" My dear/' smiles Mrs. Hislop, '' I don't 
wonder you don't like the Miss Tods. I don't 
myself, but 1 am obliged to put up with them 
because they are Robert's relations. But don't 
you have them too often at the manse. Never 
mind what Cousin James says about them. 
They are terrible mischief-makers^ for the matter 
of that, pious women as they are supposed to be." 

" Oh, I'm glad you do not think I need. 1 
thought perhaps I ought, as Mr. Dods wished it. 
They seem to think I am very wicked because I 
said I did not like reading Blair's Sermons all 

"You had better go to Cousin James/' con- 
tinues Mrs. Hislop, " or else you will not have 

Then when Thyrza's back is turned, she says 
to Robertina, '^ A real, nice, unselfish lassie, but 
too young for Cousin James, and he, poor man, 
is just distracted about her. Seventeen and 
fifty -three ! It is a great odds." 

'' Mamma, the MacNabs have come ; there is 
the carriage driving into the Carmylie Arms inn 
stable-yard now." 


^^ Where ? let me look. Ah ! dear me^ what 
luck some people have to be sure ! There is this 
little Rutherfurd girl, just fresh from her school 
in France, she comes over to Carmylie, and she 
has not been there many months before Cousin 
James falls in love with her ; and your cousins, the 
Tods, have striven, might and main, these fifteen 
years for him, and given him slippers and hams 
and jams, and he would not even look at them. 
And then there are the MacNabs. I am sure 
they were nothing — nothing at all. Archie 
MacNab^s father was just a dirty, wild laddie, 
and the folks called him Deil MacNab ; and look 
at him now in his carriage and paii', and the 
finest horses in the county. There^s luck for 
you — -nothing but luck."*^ 

"There^s a letter for you. Miss Rutherfurd,^^ 
exclaims Tom. He has been loafing about in the 
passages waiting for her, and has purloined the 
epistle from the postman. Tertius is in the office 
making fearful sounds on a flute which he is 
learning to play, in compliance with a chance 
expression of Thyrza^s. " Cousin James is in 
there,^' pursued Tom, indicating the dining-room 
with a backward gesture of his thumb. 

Thyrza takes the letter and goes up to the 
minister. ^ 


"You wanted me V* she says, presently, opening 
her letter, which bears a foreign postmark, and 
is from Mr. Spindler. 

*'Dear Thyrza, — I hear with pleasure of thy 
happiness, and rejoice at thy marriage. May 
God bless and protect thee in that far distant 
country — Scotland. My little gift is not yet 
ready for thee, petite, but it shall be sent to 
thee. Will thy husband let thee play thy piano 
on the Sunday? Ah, that day is triste and 
sombre [in Scotland. M. Paul asks after thee 
when I go to have my hair cut every month. 
Miss Holt is to be married to M. Joachim, thou 
knowest — her next door neighbour. Thy old 
apple-tree has been cut down for firewood. I 
miss thee sorely. What pleasure it would have 
been had I seen thee receive the gold medal at 
the Conservatorium, but in this life we get not 
all our wishes ; and thou wilt be safer and more 
secure in thy manse — didst thou not call it ? — and 
wilt be a good Hausfrau. The little Italian boy 
who was apprenticed to the tailor ran away. 
They were not unkind to him, but he tired of 
working every day. I and my sister are coming 
to live in England, in Loamshire, and open a Kin- 
der-Garten, in which I shall teach my improved 

VOL. III. 2 


system of music instruction. My pen is parting 
asunder^ like the legs of a compass^ so I must stop. 
" Ever believe me, 
^^ Thy true friend, 

" Heinrtch Spindler.^' 

^'Yes, Thyrza/^ replies the minister, while she, 
carried back to the provincial French town by 
Mr. Spindler^s letter, wonders whether it is not all 
dream, from which she will wake to find herself in 
the pension, repairing the sheets and table-cloths, 
and listening to the discord of several different 
tunes played in various parts of the housfe at once. 

"How do I look, Mr. Dods ?'' she asks, 
rousing herself from her reverie. 

" Very nice,^^ returns the minister. 

"But I want to look more than nice. I 
want to look lovely, charming.^^ 

" So you do, beautiful," says Mr. Dods. 
"What sort of stuff do you call this?' 
touching her dress. It is the cheapest and 
coarsest white muslin, and after buying ten 
yards of it, and a pair of white jean, high- 
heeled boots, with large cherry- coloured rosettes, 
Thyrza found she could not afford ribbon to 
trim it wdth. Necessity is the mother of in- 
vention. In the Hislop's garden grows a bar- 
berry bush, covered with coral berries. Tom has 


gathered bunches of these, picking off all the 
thorns, and Thyrza has looped up her skirts with 
sprays of barberries, mixed with trembling grass. 
Owing to the scantiness of material, the dress- 
maker said it was a choice between frills and a 
train. Both she could not have. So Thyrza 
selected the former, and it is made with a low body 
and short sleeves, and a number of '' fluttering" 
frills. In her hair, which she has let down her 
back, she wears a bunch of barberries and trem- 
bling grass, and round her neck a gold chain 
and locket, the last containing a photograph of 
the minister, and is a facsimile of one he has 
bought for his own watch-chain, with a carte 
of Thyrza in it, done by the Queensmuir pho- 

^' It^s muslin," replies Thyrza. " It will wash, 
so it is not expensive." 

Tom pops his head in at the dining-room door. 
Thyrza is standing by the minister, and he has 
his hand on her waist. Tom shuts the door in- 
stantly. Tertius with his flute comes along the 

^' By George and by jiggers !" cries Tom, 
" you may as Avell skedaddle. It's no go in 
there. Cousin James and Cousin Thyrza that 
is to be are going on. No admittance for the 
next hour." 


" Going on T^ repeats Tertius. 

'' Yes^ you duffer, going on. Spooning, you 

"Mr. Dods, shall you be very dull to- 
night r 

*' We-el, Thyrza, I shall be very dull. I had 
looked forward to this evening with you." 

" But we shall have heaps and dozens and 
hundreds of evenings together when we are 
married/' says she. ^' Shall I go to any balls 
then ?" 

" No, Thyrza, I think not. I have no objec- 
tion to dancing myself; there is no harm in it. I 
do not see why a minister should not dance. 
David danced before the Ark. But then other 
people do not regard it in that light, and it is 
right to respect people's prejudices, and not give 
unnecessary offence." 

Thyrza resolves to make an immense sacri- 
fice, and renounce the vanities of the world at a 

" Mr. Dods, would you like me to stay with 
you to-night, instead of going to the ball, because, 
if you would, I will?" 

It is a great sacrifice to her. She has taken 
such pains to make herself pretty, and Terrier 
will be there. The pleasures of life have not 
been very frequent in her path, and are likely, 


she thinks, to be even less so. She squeezes 
her hands together rather tightly, pausing for 
the minister's answer. 

" It would be a pity for you to stay now, when 
you have dressed yourself so neatly/' hesitates the 

" But I took some trouble for you, too. You 
won't object to sit with me, although I am a 
little more gaily dressed than usual," pleading 
against her own inclinations and longings. 

^^You would much rather be at the ball 
dancing with those fine young officers ?" 

" No, I never saw them, and I don't care if I 
never do," says Thyrza, truthfully. " I thought 
you were dull, and would like me to be with 


" Yes, Thyrza. I should indeed much like it^ 
but as it is the only ball you will be able to 
attend, I will not keep you at home. You have 
on your chain and locket, I see." 

It is almost as great a piece of self-denial on 
the minister's part not to take her at her word, 
as it has been to Thyrza to screw herself up to 
the pitch requisite to make the offer. She cannot 
prevent her face from brightening. 

" Oh, thank you, Mr. Dods. After Tuesday 
we shall have all our evenings together. Don't 
sit up for us to-night." 


^^ I have somewhat still to do in preparation 
for the Sabbath,, having to preach in the Parish 
Kirk to-morrow/^ 

^' I don^t think I shall come back to the Bank, 
as Mrs. Napier is going to take me back to Car- 
mylie/^ says Thyrza, becoming aware from certain 
sounds without that the Hislops are ready to 
depart, but abstain from entering for fear of 
interrupting the lovers in their tete-a-tete, 

^' Give a knocks Tom, to warn them/^ remarks 
Mrs. Hislop, with reminiscences of the time when 
the banker first came wooing to her. 

Whereupon Tom doubles his fist, and rapping 
with all his might, calls out, " Cousin Thyrza !" 

'' She isn't Cousin Thyrza yet.'' 

'' No, but she will be soon. She's promised 
me a big slice of the cake. I got a squint at it 
before Burnet took it out to Carmylie. She's 
twice as pretty as you, Bobertina," says Tom, 
with the discriminating politeness of boys at the 
age when their own sisters are only girls, and 
other people's sisters are goddesses just dropped 
down from Olympus. — '^ Burnet said so." 

^' Oh, Tom, you nasty boy !" 

" You should never listen to what little boys 
say," replies his mother, advocating the cause 
of the girl, not a general rule with her. 

^^ Little boy, indeed ! Why, my moustache and 


whiskers are growing like fun ; they^re ever so 
mucli further forward than Tertius''s. Just feel 
them ! Fm going over with Cousin Thyrza." 

" Cousin James is going himself Who 
bought stuff to make moustaches and whiskers 
grow an inch every night 1^' 

'' Where's Tertius ?' 

" Writing poetry, I think. Cousin Thyrza, 
Cousin Thyrza V' 

'^ Coming, coming/^ responds the minister 
from within. Then rising, he looks down on 

" V\Q waited very patiently, Thyrza,'"' he says, 
'^ is it not true V^ 

" I don''t know, Mr. Dods,"" she returned. 

" You have been exceedingly cruel about that 
kiss, Thyrza. All the time of our engagement 
you have never given me one. I have parted 
from you to-night, don''t you think you might let 
me have one now?" 

" Oh, wait a little longer, Mr. Dods," she 
begs j ''^ it is such a very short time now. On 
Tuesday you shall have as many as you like. 
They will then be all yours for " 

*^You will then be mine,'' continued the 
minister, ^^ and no man shall part us. Why will 
you never give me a kiss, Thyrza ? It is the 
sweetest test of love." 



" I don^t know/'' again says Thyrza^ and to 
her inexpressible relief — for the minister is no 
longer to be put off from his lover^s privilege — 
Tom hisses through the keyhole — 

" Robertina is raging, Cousin Thyrza ; she is 
afraid she will be too late, and Burnet will be 

dancing with '^ The rest of the sentence is 

inaudible, for Robertina puts her hand on Tom's 
mouth and nearly stifles him. 

Then the minister, with Thyrza's arm in his, 
and Robertina, and Mr. and Mrs. Hislop, cross 
over from the Bank to the Town Hall. As it s 
but a mere step, and scarcely a dozen yards, they 
have no carriage. Cabs and omnibuses are un- 
known in Queensmuir, but will become general, 
it is supposed, in the year 1900. 

Tom and Tertius remain in the dining-room, 
the former diverting himself with manufac- 
turing a fly, combining all the colom-s of the 
rainbow, which is to be called the " Thyrza 
Pod ley Fly/' and Tertius continues to discourse 
lugubrious notes on the flute. 

^^ Hallo, Cousin Keren-Happuch,'^ exclaims 
Tom, " what's brought you down here to-night ? ■" 
as that lady — or " female in a meal-bag'' as Tom 
calls her to his brother, he having just finished 
the perusal of ''^Artemus Ward" — sidles into the 
room. ^' Cousin James has gone out." 


"And where is Miss Rutherfurd ?" slie in- 

" With Cousin James. They're never apart.'' 

" And where are they both ?'' 

" Gone to the ball/' says Tom. 

Cousin Keren- Happuch shakes her head. She 
never wanted to go to balls_, nor to read novels, 
nor frequent theatres, nor any such like wicked- 
nesses. She knew what would happen. 

" But Cousin James has not gone to the ball 

'' Oh, hasn't he ! That's all you know, Cousin 
Keren-Happuch. He's been gone this quarter 
of an hour to the Town Hall. Can't you fancy 
him cutting capers with his long coat-tails 

" When will he be back ?" asks she, in dismay. 

" Not until four or five in the morning." 

"Ai-e you aware, Thomas, what to-morrow 
morning will be ?" 

" Why, to-morrow morning." 

" But what besides that ? The Sabbath Day." 

Oh ! how well it has been said that whoever 
toucheth pitch shall not escape defilement ! How 
soon people are led astray ! The pitch in this 
instance Cousin Keren-Happuch considers to 
represent Thyrza Rutherfurd ! 

" Tertius and I are coming to stay at the 


manse when you and Cousin Jemima go/' says 

" I trust not^ Thomas ; I trust not/' replies 
Cousin Keren- Happuch^ devoutly. 

^''Well^ cousin,, if you came to see Cousin 
Jamesj he^s at the ball, and will be there for 
several hours.-'' 

" I shall complain to Cousin Hislop of your 
manners, Thomas/' she returns. "I brought 
a book for Miss Rutherfurd, from which I hope 
she will obtain some godly thoughts/'' she 
deposits a copy of Young's " Night Thoughts" on 
the table, and takes her leave, very indignant 
and full of feelings, which in another person she 
would have described as a violent passion, but 
which in her own person she set down as senti- 
ments of righteous indignation. Cousin Jemima 
and she bewail the perverted condition of the 
minister, and the sad effect of Popish principles 
on a man who had hitherto been noted for his 
strict adherence to the Confession of Faith. 

^^ Tom, you should not have said that about 
Cousin James/' rebukes Tertius, when the minister 
has returned from the Town Hall, and is quietly 
occupied with his sermon. " Cousin Keren- 
Happuch will tell Cousin Jemima, and Cousin 
Jemima will tell all Queensmuir, of the fearful 
fact that the minister of Carmylie danced all 


night at tlie MacNabs^ ball^ and far into Sunday 

^' All serene/'' replies Tom. " But I imagine 
that O. P. (an abbreviation adopted by Tom for 
old party) won^t make me take her home another 
time when there is a nice girl in the neighbour- 
hood like Cousin Thyrza. She just came think- 
ing Cousin James was here alonCj and if I had 
not said that_, youM have had her here all 
the evening.''^ 


ARRIAGES and drags, in fact all manner 
of vehicles, with the exception of carts 
and wheelbarrows, drive up to the Town Hall of 
Queensmuir, each separate machine being es- 
corted through the borough by the ragtag and 
bobtail of the place, who, considering there is still 
no policeman in the town, conduct themselves 
with, on the whole, tolerable propriety. The Town 
Hall appears in gala costume. A temporary porch 
of heather and evergreens has been put up in case 
the night should prove wet, the steps leading to the 
iron gateway above are covered with scarlet, and 
on each side are stationed Volunteers of the 14th 
Kilniddryshire Corps in full regimentals. A 
large royal crown of gas hangs suspended over 
the porch, to the admiration of the youthful 
Queenmuirians. Within the room where the 
Small Debt Courts are lield, and the Parochial 
Board and Mr. Lefroy disagree every month on 
the subjects of the bad ix)ads and the poor 


rates, does not know itself under its present dis- 
guise. The MacNabs have had a man over 
from Edinburgh to do everything in A 1 style, 
and this is the result. An immense chandelier of 
crystal in the middle of the room with innu- 
merable wax- candles supplies part of the light, 
the rest of which comes from the sides of the 
chamber ; all round the apartment are placed 
long narrow panels of mirrors, with wreaths of 
ferns and artificial berries, &c. ; between the 
panels stands of hothouse exotics, Tritonias and 
Gladioli; and above these round mirrors with 
silver sconces arranged in stars of lights. At 
the entrance to the ball-room is a rockery of ice, 
fitted up with red and white camellias. In the 
middle are several fountains of eau de Cologne 
shedding their sweetness over the rocks and 
flowers, and the whole is illuminated by rose- 
coloured magnesium light, which, by an ingenious 
contrivance, is emitted from a small chamber 
above. Crimson rout seats are arranged in a 
square in the room, at the far end of which is 
stationed the orchestra and the raised dais, the 
topic of debate, with MacNab and his wife. 

The place is pretty well filled. Mr. MacNab 
on his dais, draped like the Queen^s with crimson 
velvet — some wag has already suggested it was 
made of jute — looks as men do look when ill at 


ease, stiff, uncomfortable, and bashful. His 
feelings exactly coincide witb bis appearance, 
and he has just beheld a friend of his who has a 
keen sense of the ridiculous. If he had worn 
his Provost's robes as his better-half wished, his 
misery would have been complete. Mr. Mac- 
Nab thinks he would a good deal sooner have 
been fixed in the dentist's chair at the moment 
when that individual assures you, " Steady now, 
sir, if you please j it won't hurt, and it'll be 
over in an instant, sir," than seated up on high. 
Mrs. MacNab, on the contrary, is troubled with 
no such nervous fears and sensations. She sits, 
fair, fat, and smiling with patronizing simpering- 
ness on her face, in her pink velvet gown, open 
in front over a pink moire antique petticoat, a 
large pink cactus in her hair, and diamonds — 
real ones, not paste imitations — appearing at odd 
intervals over the body — at least what body 
there is of some seven inches of velvet above 
the waist, and in her headdress. Royalty stands 
to receive its guests, but Mrs. MacNab sits. 
Her husband is conscious of something painfully 
ludicrous about this part of the proceedings, but 
when Mrs. MacNab sits, he cannot very well 
stand. The guests are all instructed to walk up 
the steps of the dais and pay homage to the 
sovereiffn of Queensmuir, and when dancing has 


fairly begun, and carriages cease arriving, Mrs. 
MacNab descends from her dais and mixes with 
the common herd. 

Mrs. Napier is fairly in her element of dancing, 
flirting and intriguing, and monopolizes the best 
partners from the JNIacNabs. Lola and Jane 
cannot understand how their partners dwindle 
off before their eyes ; Mrs. Napier is so sweet and 
amiable it is impossible to pick a quarrel with 
her, but the girls resolve and vow a vow 
solemnly never to come again to a ball with a 
dancing matron, who takes the men away and 
leaves them to be juvenile wallflowers. Charity 
is in good form to-night, and is undeniably the 
prettiest woman in the room. Her dress of dead 
white tulle is like frothed cream, and the only 
bit of colour about her is a splendid set of moon- 
stones and necklace, with a butterfly for her hair, 
the property of the wife of the eldest son in the 
Napier family. 

Robertina is soon dancing with young Burnet, 
but excepting Terrier and Mark, Thyrza is not well 
acquainted with any one, and she remains by Mrs. 
Hislop for some time looking on at the scene, 
which is bright enough with the red coats and jin- 
gling spurs of the cfiicers from Edinburgh Castle, 
the gay colours of the ladies' dresses, and the 
brilliant lights on the mirrors and the fountains. 


" What, are you not dancing ?" exclaims 
Mr. MacNab, who is now walking round 
the room, feeling much refreshed on his release 
from his elevation. '^ That won^t do at all, Miss 

" Oh, I like looking on almost as well,^^ says 
Thyrza ; " it's very amusing watching the 
dancers; do look at that old lady, she is just 
like a piece of patchwork, with her diflferent little 
bits of colour.^' 

" It's not enjoyable though for a lassie like you 
to sit out when you have got a pair of feet to 
dance with. They are forming a set for the 
"Lancers ;" come along, Miss Rutherfurd .Mrs. 
Hislop must admit I am as safe a partner as 
even the minister could wish."" 

" But I never danced the ^Lancers,' '* replies 
Thyrza, " and perhaps I should go all wrong.'' 

" Then I'll set you right. Hoots, havers ! Miss 
Rutherfurd," adding to himself that it was a 
good thing his wife did not hear his Scotch. 

Terrier and Lola are their vis-a-vis. She has 
only seen him once since she left Carmylie, and 
then he was on horseback and riding through 
Queensmuir with Lola. The straight, severe 
style of evening dress is becoming to him. 
Thyrza thinks he has grown quite nice-looking, 
and notices he has split the palm of his right 


hand white kid-glove in putting it on, and she 
■wishes she knew if he thought she was looking 
well ; and by the time she has reached this point 
in her reflections she recollects that Mr. Dods 
has a claim to the first place in her mind 
and heart, and that he is getting up his 
sermon in the Bank and also thinking of her. 
Then she is called upon to pay attention to the 
figures of the dance, and Mr. MacNab and she 
go " to ^dsit " Lola and Ferrier. He makes her a 
low bow, and says, " How are you, mademoiselle?'^ 
which simple words, in the voice which is still 
sweeter to her than honey or the honeycomb, thrill 
her foolish heart as nothing ever has or ever will 
do again, sending the blood rushing tumultuously 
to her face and throat, from whence it recedes as 
suddenly, leaving her pale, indeed almost wan. 

" Fm very well, monsieur,^' she replies. 

" Seem speaking rather huskily,'-* he continues; 
and Thyi'za and her partner visiting the other 
couple, there is no further opportunity for talking. 

After the '^^ Lancers'' comes a reel, ^^Hoolachin." 
The bagpipes give out inspiriting sounds ; Thyrza 
looks like a brilliant humming-bird fluttering 
from flower to flower, with her lustrous eyes, 
her flushed cheeks (her colour has returned 
again), the scarlet berries in her brown hair, 
her crimson lips and white teeth smiling in 

VOL. III. 3 


answer to some joke of Mr. MacNab's as 
she flits through the interlacing mazes of the 
"figure eight/' hooks arms with him, spins 
round, " reeV again, and back to their places. 
The gentlemen change partners, and Mr. Mac- 
Nab executes his " steps'' with the precision of a 
dancing master, snaps his fingers, turns round 
and cries ^' Heuch," the dancers keeping such 
capital time that to the spectators in the gallery- 
above they appear to move as though possessed 
of only a single pair of legs and feet between 

" I wish the minister could see you now," 
remarks Mr. MacNab, after a spin round, which 
has nearly left him breathless. The music and 
rapid motion, with the lights and the whole 
tout ensemble, stir the dance-fever in Thyrza ; 
she dances, as she loves, with heart and soul, 
and seems so full of joyous, buoyant life, that 
Mr. MacNab cannot forbear expressing a passing 
regret to himself she is destined to waste her 
fragrance on the desert air of the fishing com- 
munity of Carmylie. He does not say this 
aloud, for he would be sorry to sadden the brief 
hours of unalloyed happiness which are hers. 
Mr. MacNab offers her his arm, and they pro- 
menade in the passage, she feeling quite grown- 
up and like the rest of the world. 


Then Mark asks to put his name down for a 
waltz, and when that has been satisfactorily per- 
formed,, for several others. 

He is a capital hand at the old three-time 
business^ despite the number of years he has 
been out of practice during his residence up the 
Yang-tse-Kiang, and is besides an admirable 
partner. He never grows giddy just when one 
IS beginning to enjoy oneself, and has got into 
the swing of the pace; he can do the reverse 
turn a merveille ; knows exactly when to slacken 
his speed; will pick up fan or handkerchief any 
amount of times ; steers clear of the other 
couples, and pilots skilfully through the greatest 
crowd. His partner never has the risk of 
coming to grief through collisions or cannoning 
up against that unlucky pair who may be seen 
in all ball-rooms, and distingaished by bobbing 
in different time at a considerable distance from 
each other, the gentleman holding on to the 
lady^s waist with half a yard between them, the 
latter with an expression of unspeakable agony 
depicted on her face, while the former see-saws 
her arm up and down like a pump-handle, than 
which old simile no newer or more appropriate 
one can be devised. This couple invariably ter- 
minate unfortunately, and part with feelings of 
mutual hatred. The man lays the blame on the 



lady, who could not manage her skirts properly ; 
the lady recriminates on the gentleman as she 
regards the forlorn remains of her tulle illusion. 

Ferrier never was any hand at waltzing, or, 
indeed, at dancing at all. He left England too 
young to have much time for balls ; and having 
an elder brother who was the eligible, while he 
was already stamped as a ne^er-do-well, he was 
not often asked out. 

" Ton my word, Miss MacNab, that's quite a 
show,''^ he exclaims, pausing, and not sorry to do 
so in the middle of an attempt to accommodate 
himself to Lola^s step, and finding it impossible 
to accomplish his wish, notwithstanding they have 
practised the " Trois Temps" every day during 
the past week at Quentinshope ; as Thyrza and 
Mark pass them, winding smoothly along without 
the least jerk or perceptible exertion, Thyrza^s 
little dark coral-berried crowned head, her brown 
hair falling in rich abundance over her shoulders, 
with her face and eyes bright and radiant, is a 
good foil to Mark''s fair clearly-cut features. 
" Are you fatigued now. Miss MacNab V 

^^ Not at all,"'^ says Lola, intimating she is 
ready to go on again. So Ferrier and she try 
once more. But as Ferrier does something like 
the '^ Hop Waltz," and Lola is doing the '^ Deux 
Temps/^ it is not surprising that Ferrier, after 


almost upsetting a very small short man and a 
very tall thin lady, should observe — 

" I am afraid, Miss MacNab, I am not doing 
justice to your kind instructions/^ Lola having 
acted as dancing mistress, or that she should 
reply, feeling they are making rather an exhi- 
bition of themselves — 

" What are you dancing, Mr. Terrier V^ 

" I think if you have no objection, Miss 
MacNab, we will stop for a minute ; going 
round and round in a circle always makes me 
a little giddy,"^ says he, as men will say when 
they have had enough of it, and do not want to 
go on again. " I am a bad partner. I am 
really very sorry, alid fear you will discard me 
from your good graces,^^ he proceeds ; and seeing 
Mr. Lefroy, nails him on the spot with, " Mr. 
Lefroy, I know you can dance as well as you do 
everything else ; will you deliver Miss MacNab 
from the thraldom of a shocking waltzer ?" 

Mr. Lefroy, as in duty bound, replies he will 
be only too happy ; Lola and he depart, where- 
upon Mrs. MacNab, tapping her husband on the 
shoulder with her fan, asks him to notice his 
eldest daughter and Mr. Lefroy, while Terrier 
retires into the passage lest any one should insist 
upon his dancing again. 

" Who is that, aw, little girl, with the long 


dark hair V inquires one of the officers of 
Mark ; " have seen her style of action now, 
should not object to twy a turn or two with 

'^ A Miss Kutherfurd ; she's going to be 
married on Tuesday to the minister of Car- 
mylie/' returns Mark ; " you're quite safe, my 
dear fellow. She won't expect you to propose." 

The Captain and Thyrza are made acquainted, 
and after a few moments he decides she is a 
^' vewy nice little party." Her short dress is in 
her favour too, and does not get entangled in his 
sj)urs. Mark, after remaining to see how the 
pair would prosper, goes into the passage in 
quest of Terrier. Mrs. Napier is out of a 
partner, and she follows Mark. 

" Oh, there you are, Mr. Mark," says she^ 
playfully. " How naughty of you to go and 
hide; and there is Jack, too." 

" Fm not going to dance any more. Charity," 
replies Ferrier, hastily. " Miss MacNab and I 
nearly came an awful cropper just now, and I 
shan't have such a near shave again. One does 
not escape a thing of that kind twice, and if 
it did happen, I should have to look out for a 
good rope to hang myself withal. Mr. MacNab 
would be having me up for breach of the 


^^ I will allow you to remain unmolested, 
but Mr. Mark cannot be permitted. I want 
you to dance with that poor Miss Lowe. She has 
not had a partner this evening. I think she 
will poison herself, for she has devoured her card 
inch by inch, and those satin-glossed ones are 
prepared with white lead. It will be a charity 
to save her from death by poisoning.''^ 

"What, that old woman with the red velvet bows, 
like detached crabs, on her head !" cries Mark. 

" No, she is quite young, not over twenty. 
See, there she is.''^ 

'^ Worse and worse ! 1^11 be shot if I do," 
exclaims Mark; "why, she is elephantine, and 
would tread on my toes and annihilate me." 

" Not if I give you the photograph I have 
so long promised you," pursues Charity. 

"The one with the Spanish comb and mantilla?" 

" Yes." 

" It is a tempting bribe, Mrs. Napier, but 
we will square it in this way. You^ll give me 
a dance now, and the photograph afterwards." 

" I think I am engaged," says Charity. 

" Oh, put him off," replies Mark. " You can 
tell him you forgot, or he ought to have turned 
up sooner. What's his name ?" 

No person being down on her card for that 
dance. Charity invents one. 


" There^s the ' Beautiful Blue Danube' begin- 
ning/'' pursues Mark. " The band really plays 
very decently for a provincial one.'' 

This is all Charity wanted, and Mark and 
she return to the ball-room, leaving Terrier 
alone. He goes up to the gallery, from which 
a good view of the dancers is to be obtained. 
He can single out Thyrza from all the rest by 
her long hair ; she has all the officers in turn 
as partners, and never misses a dance. Then 
comes " Sir Roger de Coverley.'' She has old Mr. 
MacNab as her partner again. Down the 
middle and up again ; set to partners, and so on ; 
he sees MacNab lead her up to the top under 
the long arch of hands, and then another 
couple begins, and finding the gallery insuffer- 
ably hot, he pays a visit to the refreshment-room, 
on which Mr. Lefroy has been pleased to pass 
an opinion to the effect, " Things were so-so." 

When he comes back, Thyrza is wandering 
about in the passage, as if looking for some- 

^' Have you lost anything ?" he asks. 

"My fan, but perhaps it is in the supper 

"I don't see it anywhere. Did Mr. Dods 
give it to you ?" 

" Yes, it was such a pretty one." 


" Don^t see any traces of it. What will he 
say to you when he hears it is lost ?^^ 

"Oh, he^ll buy me another, a dozen times 

" You have not get rid of that cold yet. '' 

" It is nothiug.^^ 

'* Have you been for many walks lately ?" 

" One every day, excepting when it poured. 
Mr. Dods is a good walker.^' 

" YouVe about danced with every man in 
the room, mademoiselle. Won^t you finish up 
with me to make it complete ? They^re just 
about to start a galop. I think I can manage 
that. You keep on straight ahead a bit, and 
then twirl round. The ^ Lancers^ are out and 
out the best of the dances. You''ve only got 
to walk about atdififerent angles. Mademoiselle, 
may I have the pleasure of dancing this galop 
with you? It is the last time we shall have 
a chance of dancing before your marriage. Is 
it not to be on Tuesday ?^-' 

" Yes,^^ says Thyrza. 

'^ So Dods has actually let you come to the 
ball ? I wonder at that." 

'' Do you ? I don-'t. I am not astonished at 
anything now. But this is the only ball I shall 
ever be at." 

" Does not Dods approve of dancing ?" 


" Not for ministers^ wives. ■'^ 

^' I am not sure but that if I were in Dods^s 
place I should not object too. How well you 
and I pull together ! What a pity it cannot 
last !" 

'^ No, it will soon be over/'' replies Thyrza, 
with a deep long-drawn sigh ; and Ferrier hearing 
that sigh places his strong arm tighter round her 
waist, and her small soft hand is clasped in his 
own sinewy fingers, and his long black moustache 
almost touches her hair, as her brown head 
droops on his broad shoulders, and they fioat 
away to the crash of the joyous music of the 
"Magic Bells" galop, which changes into veritable 
magic bells in Thyrza^s ears, as they mingle with 
the whirling crowd. 

" I wish it could last for ever," exclaims 
Ferrier. " But of course you are so wrapt in bliss 
at the prospect opening out before you on 
Tuesday with darling James, that you can spare 
no thought for anything else." 

" Oh, monsieur," says Thyrza ; " don't try 
me so." 

" Only forty-eight hours now for you to be 
Thyrza Butherfurd." 

" I wish Tuesday would never come," bursts 
involuntarily from Thyrza. 

" It will come though, mademoiselle, fret 


and fume as we like. Time passes on mercilessly, 
taking with it the happiness of some and the 
misery of others. It is no more a respecter of 
persons than death. You have not got over that 
cough yet. After Tuesday I shall not be able 
to hint even to old Dods that you can^t bear 
standing out under a shower-bath or a water 
spout. You must get well^ mademoiselle.^'' 

"What would be the nse of it? What is 
the use of anything T' 

" Don^t know/-' returns Jack. ^^ Never tried 
to think ; cleverer people than me have had a try 
to find out. When we have left Carmylie^ and 
the new owners come to live there, shall you ?" 

"Don't go on, don't go on/' cries Thyrza. 

" I won't if you don't like. Just let me say 
this one thing. When the jute merchant and 
jute merchantess who have bought Carmylie 
come to dwell there, Dods will rejoice and be 
exceedingly glad, for they are strict Presbyterians. 
They will fill the Carmylie seat, and add to the 
minister's collection on Sundays nicely. Y'ou 
are looking very pale," he says, stopping sud- 
denly. " Are you not happy, mademoiselle ? I 
have asked you that often before ; this time, 
Thyrza, give me a true answer. Don't think 
of me as the man who had the audacity to 
imagine that a girl worth anything would ever 


give a thought to him. Why are you trembling, 
Thyrza ?" 

" It^s the cold air from that window.^' 

" Draw your cloak over your shoulders. I 
want you to think of me as a friend who — -well 
likes you on the whole, and would wish to see 
you really comfortably settled. Speak to me 
openly and freely. Are you happy T' 

" No/' replies Thyrza;, slowly and briefly. 

" Don''t you look forward to your marriage 
with pleasure ?" 

" No, I don't. Oh^ monsieur^ don't torture 
me with these questio?is/' she exclaims, pas- 

" Am I torturing you, Thyrza ?" 

" Yes, you are." 

" Then you are going to marry the minister 
for the sake only of having a house of your own, 
and for the sake of being married ?" 

" No, that is not the reason. Why will you 
persist in tormenting me ? What is it to you if 
I marry Mr. Dods ? Let me be wretched if I 
like. You never liked me. You can't care. I 
won't answer your questions." 

" It's a bad plan to marry to spite a pers on," 
pursues Ferrier, not choosing to contradict her 
assertion. ^^It's like cutting off one's nose to 
spite one's face. I've seen a little, now and 


again, of life, and I believe that marriage without 
love is misery/^ 

" Lovej what^s love T' quotes Thyrza. 

'*Don^t talk so bitterly, mademoiselle. It 
comes badly from your lips, which ought to let 
fall nothing but sweetness. No, I don^t pare a 
button if you do make a hash of your life.^^ 

'^ It was you who taught me to sneer at love.^^ 

^^ And it was you, Thyrza, who taught me to 
reverence it. Let us forget old Dods and your 
engagement for to-night, and let us be Jack 
and Thyrza again as we were in the garret. 
Grey girl, be kind to your grey boy \" 

" No, monsieur, I must not,^^ replies Thyrza, 

" Why not ? It's only for half an hour, thirty 
minutes of paradise. Then, after that, we'll go 
back to monsieur and Mr. Dods's intended." 

*^ No, monsieur, it would not be honourable. 
I have given the minister my word, and I will 
keep it in all points as faithfully as though he 
was here.'' 

" I beg your pardon, mademoiselle," says 
Ferrier, quickly ; " you were right to remind me 
of my honour." 

" I did not mean to be rude, monsieur ; per- 
haps I have been very rude sometimes." 

" Don't, don't, mademoiselle," cries Ferrier ; 


" you^re sending me out of my senses. Must 
you marry Dods ?'' 

" I can-'t go back now^, no^ I can''t. The 
banns are to be proclaimed in Carmylie Kirk to- 
morrowj and our rooms are taken at the Tontine 
Hotel in Glasgow for us/^ answers Thyrza^ a 
sort of strain on her lips showing she speaks 
with an effort. " Don^t let us talk about this 
any more. It unsettles me, and I am getting 
used to Mr. Dods. I daresay I shall be^ not 
happy;, but contented. Since you have asked 
me_, I have told you. It is not meant that 
every one should be as happy as I have fancied 
people can be in their married lives.^^ 

She is unaware how plainly Jack is reading 
her inmost heart, and her struggle between what 
she considers right and the dictates of her rebel- 
lious longings. 

" It is too late now for me to break the 

" It is not too late yet, but it will be too late 
on Tuesday, when you are driving off from the 
Bank to Queensmuir Station with Dods,''"' says 
Jack, unconsciously pressing her left hand so 
tightly that her ring cuts into the flesh ; " and 
it''s not the first engagement you^^e broken off. 
You^ll know how to manage with Dods better 
than me J having had some practice." 


" I never broke off an engagement ; I only- 
agreed with what yon said. Oh, monsienr \" 

" It's the minister's ring that hurts you, eh ?'' 

" It's the only one Fve on."' 

" Why, Thyrza, you know it was you. I 
never dreamt of such a thing." 

" NoWj it is all the same which it was. If you 
really have the friendly feelings for me you con- 
tinually say you have, you would forbear torment- 
ing me with these questions."" 

'^ But you don't like the minister, you know 
you don't." 

" This is too much, monsieur," says Thyrza, 
impetuously ; '^ and if I don't, in that way, pray 
whom do I like then ?" 

" A little bird told me," replies Ferrier, " but 
wild horses shall not drag it from me. Heaven 
help you, Thyrza, if you marry the minister." 

^^ Heaven will," she returns. 

How much better she would have been at 
the Bank with the minister, or even sitting in 
the dining-room playing draughts by turns with 
Tom and Tertius, or perusing that truly edifying 
volume of Blair's Sermons, in which, by dint of 
hard perseverance, she had contrived to read 
fifteen lines during a wet forenoon. It is clear 
that balls are not meant for her, more especially 
balls where she meets Ferriers with steel grey 


eyes and long black lashes. The minister is not 
a plain man. On the contrary, he is good 
looking, tall, and well formed, and in his lengthy 
minister's black garb, with a hat, a cross between 
a Jesuit priest's and a High Church clergyman's, 
looks quite a clerical dandy as he swells across 
the market-place of Queen smuir. The get-up 
of a not too rabidly Calvinistic-Presbyterian 
minister is similar to that of an Anglican cleric. 
The very strict and extreme array themselves 
after the guise of the Genevan school. 

This has been Thyrza's little hour. For these 
few moments, whirling round to those magic 
" Bells,'" all has been couleur de rose. A great and 
heavy blank falls on her as the music ceases, and 
Mark comes with a message from Mrs. Napier 
that it is Sunday morning, and she is distressed 
Thyrza should have extended her gaiety to such 
an unseemly period. She has been expecting 
every moment Thyrza would come. Mark does 
not give the whole of the message, nor add how 
Mrs. Napier and himself have been flirting. 
Mark and Thyrza are very good friends. The 
knowledge that she is acquainted with the 
secret of his wife's existence gives a free- 
dom and want of constraint to his manner with 
her. Until lately, excepting as a model for 
his pictures, she has never troubled his mind. 


but within the last few weeks, when there has come 
an almost startling improvement in face, figure, 
and style of dress — she began to be tidy in order to 
show Terrier the pleasure she felt in her engage- 
ment with Mr. Dods — he has begun to think her 
more than pretty. Mark accosts her in a confi- 
dential sort of way, which Terrier takes for more 
than it is worth. Mark cannot help speaking to 
a nice-looking girl as though she were the chief 
person in the world to him. As Thyrza ex- 
claims, " Heaven will,''' Mark comes up and lays 
his hand on Thyrza' s, to call her attention to him. 
The band strike up, '^ The Joys of Matrimony.-" 
" Good for you. Miss Thyrza,'' says Mark. 
" Won't you have one round more ?" 

'' Mrs. Hislop " 

" I will make your peace with her. Besides, 
you are a bride-elect, and brides-elect ought 
always to please themselves. They may do any- 
thing they like, from singing like good girls at 
the piano to riding a la clothes-peg, as some of 
the ladies have been known to do in the gold 
district of California." 

Thyrza hesitates, meditates, wavers, wishes, 
melts. She will never have any more dancing. 
The band is playing so charmingly. Mark is 
such a delicious dancer. Everything in the 
ball-room is so pretty, she does not want to 

VOL. III. 4 


leave it. When she is married^ she won^t have 
any Gentile hankerings after these frivolities. The 
minister's wedding-ring will quell all these 
ridiculous delights and raptures whenever she is 
with Ferrier^ when she and Mr. Dods sit into the 
fire — a Scotticism — on winter nights; he with that 
tome of antiquarian research and she with her 
workj and the wind moaning among the hills and 
the cypress-trees in the kirkyard, she won^t 
ever think of Ferrier^ oh no ! People's memories 
change and their lives begin afresh on the 
wedding-day. She won't ever tire of the 
minister and his society, day by day, as the 
little Italian boy had tired of the tailor's shop 
in Villios and its comforts, preferring to wander 
through the country with his guinea-pig and 
guitar with the chance of sunshine one day and 
storm another. No, Thyrza Dods in all points 
will be as different from Thyrza Kutherfurd as 
John Ferrier is from James Dods. 

" Come along, Miss Thyrza," pursues Mark, 
as she moves from Ferrier. They have the 
floor to themselves and set off at a pace which 
causes Mark to ask — 

'^ Am I going too fast for you ?" 

" No, not in the least."' 

She is a born flirt, thinks Ferrier. She must 
bo so. She is going on now with Mark, and 


when she sees Mr. Dods she will go on with him 
too. Wellj why should she not have her fling ? 
It does not hurt him and it amuses her. But it 
does hurt Ferrier. He has set Thyrza upon a 
pedestal as a glorified being, and the higher the 
pedestal, the greater the fall for the idol or statue. 

" Jack, how much longer are you going to 
stay V inquires Charity, entering the ball-room 
in her opera cloak. 

"Oh, not much longer/^ 

" How shamefully Miss Rutherfurd is be- 
having with Mr. Mark. Is that your paragon 
of perfection V 

^^ She is looking very nice to-night,^^ replies 

'' Nice, Jack ! How can you admire her ? 
Dark people are not at all pretty, and what cheap 
tawdry lace she has for a tucker ! Low bodies 
are quite out of fashion, for ball gowns too.^^ 

" I daresay they are for those who have not 
such pretty shoulders as Miss Eutherfurd."' 

" Every one to his taste ; and then she has 
got her hair down her back.^^ 

" Every one has not such a wealth of tresses to 
let down.^^ 

" She has plenty of it, certainly, but it is 
very coarse, and now- a- days no person ever 
dreams of admiring dark hair. It is so common.'^ 
mam "^""2 



^^ If faces sucli as Thyrza^s were commoner, 
there would be an immense number of pretty 
people in tbe world. To my idea, Thyrza^s 
clear, smooth, olive skin, and splendid hazel eyes 
are far more beautiful than any fair face I ever 
saw. There is so much expression in her features. 
By Jove, if here is not the minister come to 
look after his fiancee.'' 

Across the ball-room with the pen with which 
he has been writing his sermon sticking behind 
his ear, walks Mr. Dods. 

^^ My dear Thyrza,^'' he begins, ^' Cousin 
Helena has gone home, and as it is not seemly 
to be dancing on Sunday morniug, she sent me 
to fetch you. She thought you had gone before 
her with Cousin Robertina and Mr. Burnet.''^ 

Unintentionally, Mr. Dods^s tones are always 
pompous, and at the present moment there is 
even more pompousness than usual in them. 

^^ Yes, Mr. Dods, I will come with you,^"* says 
Thyrza, half penitently, half saucily : then with a 
spark of naughtiness she adds, " I could not 
dance any more if I wished, for the heel of my 
boot has come ofF.^'' 

She feels a sense of the heavy obligations 
under which he has laid her, and which she is 
going to repay by giving him herself. But he 
need not have invaded the ball-room himself. 


letting every one see that she -was his possession. 
Why could he not have sent Tertius or Tom or 
Mr. Hislop ? Then she relents. He has been 
very kind to her. He never said she made love 
to him. He had let her go to the ball when he 
might have demurred and made himself un- 
pleasant. He had given her lots of presents, 
and he was very fond of her. With what did 
she find fault, and what more did she or could 
she want ? She looks round to bid farewell to 
Ferrier and Mark, but they have disappeared into 
the supper-room with the MacNabs and are not 
visible, so she and Mr. Dods go over to the 
Bank. Before leaving she takes a last fond 
glance at the rose light, and the fountains and 
flowers as the one spot of brightness connected 
with the iniquities and vanities of this pleasant 
sinful world which she will have to remember in 
her future life. 



N this same evening of the MacNabs' ball 
in Queensmuir, Mrs. Terrier and the 
twins are sitting in her boudoir. Carmylie feels 
empty enough now Jack and Charity are away, 
and Mrs. Terrier also misses Thyrza very much. 
Rattray and Cecilia are in the kitchen. An 
immense peat fire blazes in the grate, filling 
the place with a faint spicy scent. Cecilia is 
knitting new feet to Daviess winter stockings, 
Rattray is engaged in dividing the small 
onions from the large ones in a pile of that 
odoriferous bulb, and several nets ready to 
receive the latter lie beside him on the clean 
sanded red brick floor. 

" That has been an awfu^ accident,-'^ says 
Cecilia, plaintively, clicking her shining steel 
knitting-needles in the sheath of feathers fastened 
in her waistband. " And the young leddies 
I read in the newspaper are dy-y-ing,-*^ she 


concludes as thougli singing a tune or 

^^ They are deid/^ returns Rattray^ shortly 
and sharply like a staccato chord at the end of a 
run on the minor key. 

"They were gaun tae a marriage tae/^ pur- 
sues Cecilia^ counting the intakes in the leg of 
the stocking. " Bodies shouldna be glued to the 
world ; it^s naething hut vanity at the best.-'-' 

"A body maun do the best they can for 
themselves whiles they are in the warld/' rejoins 
Rattray^ tumbling some of the large onions into 
a net. ^' Proovidence is a fine thing, but ye 
maun help proovidence, or it will no help you. 
It's a' vera weel reading o' the Bible, but if a 
body did naething else but read the Bible and 
say everything is vanity, I muckle doot you and 
I wadna get ony kail broth tae our dinners.^^ 

'' Ye^ll never be a reeleegious man/^ says 
Cecilia, shaking her head dolefully over her 
husband^s delinquencies. 

" I dinna ken aboot reeleegious, but I ken 
fine I like my denner and sae dae you, Cecilia.-'^ 

" Henry, fat way will Wasp be barking sic 
terrible the nicht,^^ cries Cecilia, startled by the 
loud barks and angry growls of the little terrier, 
which seems worrying or attacking some one in 
a ferocious and violent manner without. 


^' He's taking his nightly constitutional/' 
answers Rattray, unwilling to get up. ^' Yer 
heid is aye filled wi^ havers, Cecilia. He^ll be 
barking at the cat that lives up-bye at the 

" Ye never see naething if it is no richt afore 
your nose, Henry. It is maybe a tinkler, or 
going-about body." 

" Wha wad be ganging aboot at this time o' 
the nicht ?" 

^^ Henry, I dinna like it." 

Meanwhile Wasp continues to bark loudly; 
presently he gives a howl, and comes limping 
into the house on three legs. At the same time, 
Mrs. Ferrier having heard the unusually pro- 
longed barking of the dog, rings her bell for 
Cecilia to come and inform her of the cause. 
She rises and goes up to Mrs. Ferrier, and as 
she passes along the passage closes the scullery 
door unconsciously upon the object which has 
aroused Wasp^s wrath and displeasure. This is 
neither more nor less than a tall strong man with 
one hand. Wasp has bitten his leg severely and 
torn part of his trousers, and the said man has 
kicked the little animal with his heavy foot, and 
made him leave go his hold by main brute force. 

In point of fact, the man is Gow, who has 
been concealed in the garret of Carmylie House 


for several nights^ going out now and again by a 
certain secret staircase leading from the scullery 
to the attic. 

After he had been three nights in the empty 
shieling on the Chapelton Moss, he began to find 
it a cold habitation^ and it was also open to the 
objection that in walking from thence to his 
own cottage for food he ran the risk of being 
met by some person. 

The peat had been left out longer than usual 
too this autumn, and several men were employed 
in clearing the turf away. Gow experienced, 
therefore, an uneasy dread of discovery as he 
lay on his bed of dried leaves and heather, 
watching through the chinks and fallen -out 
knots in the wooden walls the men loading 
the carts with the peat, and he at once inwardly 
resolved to change his quarters. 

In the time of the Campbells^ the former 
owners of Carmylie, he had been a stable-boy at 
Carmylie, and was thus acquainted with the con- 
struction of the house, more complicated than it 
appears from its exterior. 

The third day Gow heard from his wife. Ter- 
rier and Mark would leave Carmylie for Quentins- 
hope on the fourth day, Monday, in the " gloam- 
ing.'' He left the shieling, sneaked cautiously 
through the Chapelton Wood, and lurked in an out- 


liouse at the steading until it was perfectly dark. 
Wasp, prowling about in search of rats and cats, 
annoyed him by snapping at his heels, but 
Rattray and Cecilia took no heed. On this 
night, Saturday, however, Wasp, again encoun- 
tering him, had attacked him with greater passion 
and fierceness, and proved more difficult to shake 

Carmylie having been built in troublous 
and disturbed times, is provided with several 
hiding-places in the thick masonry of the walls 
and an outlet from the other side of the garret. 

In the scullery there is an opening from which 
some steps lead to a trap-door, and from thence it 
is easy enough to cross the plaster and rafters to 
the floored portion of the attic, where another 
staircase conducts to any part of the house that 
may be desired. Part only of the garret has 
been boarded over, so care is requisite in walk- 
ing over the ceiling of that which has been 
left unboarded. Any thief who knew of this 
contrivance could conceal himself for days in the 
garret, slowly accumulate whatever stolen goods 
he wished, and make off into the country. Or 
he could take refuge by sea, a coal-sloop occa- 
sionally putting in at Carmylie harbour from 
Newcastle, which, on its return voyage, conveys 
one or two passengers for a small sum. 


Everything depends on tlie view we take of 
circumstances. Gow considers himself a deeply 
injured man ; he sees nothing wrong in shooting 
game. It is as much his property as it is that 
of the laird of Carmylie. Hares and rahbits are 
just as wild and as common to all as are the 
flowers growing by the wayside^ which any one 
can gather if they please. Gow concedes the 
right to possess the land and woods and moors, 
but the trout in the river, and game, both birds 
and animals, are, in his eyes, the property of all 
who can exercise the skill to slay them. The 
people in general share this feeling, and although 
not going the length of Gow in regular poaching, 
there are not many cottagers in the glens who 
have not killed a hare or a rabbit occasionally on 
the principle — the laird would never miss it. An 
attempt, formerly made, to close the rivers for the 
better preservation of the fish was met by the most 
determined opposition on the part of the weavers of 
Queensmuir, because they were infuriated at the 
loss of their day's fishing and pleasant rambles in 
the country during the summer months. To many 
a poor man it is an inestimable privilege to breathe 
the fresh air and enjoy the wild scenery, after 
dwelling the whole week in a small unwholesome 
room of which the atmosphere is impregnated 
with particles of yarn, and close enough to 


asphyxiate even a rabbit. The populace were not 
long in manifesting their opinions. Trees were 
cut down by the banks of the Bogg, others 
seriously injured; the water at the bridge by 
the mill, where there were splendid pools for sea 
trout_, after a flood was poisoned by quicklime 
and the fish were found dead on the shore by 
hundreds. Those landed proprietors who lived 
in a " Mutual Admiration Society^' (Limited), 
were assailed in paragraphs of the Kilniddry shire 
Advertiser with letters expressing the resentment 
of the anglers, and the editor wrote a leading 
article in behalf of the " great unwashed,^^ re- 
minding the lairds that the closing of the rivers 
would not be forgotten when the seat for the 
county fell vacant at the next general election. 
This produced the desired effect. The rivers were 
again thrown open with the exception of those 
places which had always been preserved, and Mr. 
Lefroyhad no longer to mourn over the destruction 
of his young plantations, or fume over impertinent 
letters in the papers, which mildly suggested he 
was suff'ering from determination of blood to the 
head in consequence of his intense attention to 
rearing Angus cattle and model cow-houses. 

The garret is warmer than the shieling at the 
Chapelton Moss. Gow manages very well. He 
crawls across the plaster every night, slinks 


down the steps to the scullery^ abstracts all the 
provisions he wants from the pantry^ and then 
returns the same way. Naturally he has many 
hours at his disposal. His friend the pawn- 
broker at Middleby has given him information 
of a country where he might make his fortune 
and raise himself to the level of a landed pro- 
prietor. All that he requires is the money 
wherewith to pay his passage to America. The 
pawnbroker has also hinted that there must be 
plenty of old silver mugs and forks and spoons at 
Carmylie which could soon be melted down in 
his smelting-pot out of all identity, and for 
which he would be willing to pay Gow a fair 
value. This idea has taken root in Gow's mind. 
It takes a long while to get an idea into his 
thick pericranium ; but when it is once there 
nothing can dislodge it. 

Among the chaos of lumber that collects in 
all houses after they have been inhabited for a 
length of time^ the worn-out chairs^ broken- 
down tables, cast-off clothing, and boxes of 
various sizes and denominations, he finds a pile 
of old magazines and newspapers. In one of 
the former there is a glowing account of life in 
the Far West. From this article, it is apparent 
that strength and faculty are all that is re- 
quired. Education and capital are useless in 


comparison. Gentlemen^ it is well-known, are 
better at home, as are also all those who are not 
prepared to work with their hands. 

Gow is not a quick reader. Perhaps for this 
reason he takes in the sense more clearly. The 
long descriptions of scenery, like an expert novel - 
reader, he passes over. What he does understand 
is that if he could get over to Oregon or Ontario 
he might niake his fortune, and become a land- 
holder himself. 

But where is the wherewithal ? His wife and 
family can but just live and pay the rent. Gow 
has never been anything but a sober man, in fact 
his sobriety was noted. But he has conceived a 
plan which he would fain carry out if possible. 
Meantime his nightly visits downstairs continue, 
till at length he grows bolder, and explores the 
dining-room. On the sideboard are several 
silver tankards, usually locked up, but left out 
since the MacNabs' departure. There is a bottle 
of cura9oa, and a punch bowl won by Mr. Ferrier^s 
favourite horse, which afterwards broke down 
lamentably half way on the race course. Gow 
tastes the cura9oa as an experiment, and ap- 
proves of it. He admires the massive bowl. His 
friend the pawnbroker at Middleby would buy 
it of him, melt it down, and there would be no 
more about it. It would be safer to go by sea 


to Middleby, but rowing with one hand would 
be laborious. Out of the skylight he can see 
the fishing village^, and the bay of Carmylie. The 
coal sloop which generally plies between New- 
castlcj Middleby, and Carmylie will not be 
due for some time. He must try to reach 
Middleby in the night. The evenings begin to 
draw in early now. He has never stolen any- 
thing yet j his hands are still unsullied by theft. 
He takes several pulls at the cura9oa, several 
long contemplations of the silver punch-bowl^ 
and another perusal of the article on " Life in 
the Far West/^ before he can make up his mind 
to steal. On Friday evening, he coolly walks 
along the front passage to the garret. Wasp on 
this occasion scents him, but he gets up all right 
with the loss of part of his trouser-leg. Early 
on the Saturday he returns to the shieling after an 
interview with his wife. She has besought him to 
surrender himself to justice, but without success. 
He has almost abandoned the resolution, how- 
ever, of stealing the silver, when a hare bound- 
ing across his path in the wood, he shoulders 
a stick as though it were a gun, with the old 
instinct strong in him, and from that moment 
waits only an opp'ortunity to enter Carmylie, 
and seize the plate. This opportunity does not 
occur until the gloaming of Saturday evening. 


He has been compelled to lie all day in the 
shieling, with nothing to look at but the peat 
moss, with its black cuttings and the hills un- 
broken in their silence by the bleating of sheep, 
or the cooing of wood doves. Weary of his own 
company, he hailed the sound of the chirping 
of the robins even with pleasure. He feels in 
his bones that he will not leave Carmylie with- 
out doing something to Ferrier, the mark of 
which he will carry about with him to his grave. 

" Cecilia,^-' says Mrs. Ferrier, ^^ is there any 
one about the house to-night ?^^ 

" Aweel, mem, I was thinking there was, but 
Henry disna believe me/^ 

" There was a band of gipsies or tinkers here 
to-day ,^^ pursues Mrs. Ferrier, " perhaps some of 
them are hiding in the out-buildings to steal the 

'^ I'll send Rattray oot tae see, mem." 

Rattray goes out accordingly and makes an 
investigation all round the steading, but returns 
to state he has seen no one. Wasp rises on his 
approach, wagging his tail. Then Rattray per- 
ceives the dog is hurt. Gow has done more than 
kick the little fellow, — blood is flowing from a 
wound on his shaggy back, which wound has been 
the reason of his letting go his hold of Gow^s leg. 

" Eh, puir bit beastie !" he exclaims ; " but 


he^ll sune be nae "waur o^t. I doot it has been 
a tinker that did it/^ 

"I'll no let on tae Mistress Ferrier/' says 
Cecilia, " we had better keep it dark/' 

"Ay, I think so, and Fll lock all doors. The 
laird and Mistress Napier will be hame afore the 

"Well, Cecilia, have you found any one?" 
asks Mrs. Terrier. 

" Na, no a critter," responds Cecilia, " will 
ye hae yer supper noo ? Ye'll no be tae wait 
the laird coming hame ?" 

" No," says Mrs. Terrier, " I am too tired to 
sit up so long, so I will have supper and go to 
bed. Will you bring some wood and coals for 
my fire, please ?" 



AM very sorry, Mr. Dods ; I am very 
sorry, indeed ; but I cannot marry you. 
Please do not be angry with me. I would if I 
could; but I cannot.^^ 

Thyrza has been thinking deeply and earnestly 
of what is to take place on the morrow (Tuesdav 
morning) at the Bank, and through the whole of 
Sunday has striven to make up her mind to tell 
the minister of her decision before nightfall. 
But Sunday slipped away, and Monday has now 
come; and here, at the eleventh hour only, has 
she found strength and courage to make known 
her change of purpose to him. The little speech 
has cost her much thought and trouble ; and 
after all, when it comes to the point, she says 
her say in the simplest words that occur to her. 
The events of the last fortnight have followed one 
on the other with such exceeding rapidity that 
she has had no time for reflection, and has felt 


herself merely a passive agent in the hands of 
Mr. Dods and Mrs. Napier. Sunday being a 
day of funereal solemnity at the Bank_, she has 
then been able to collect her thoughts^ and has 
considered soberly and weighed seriously the 
pros and cons of her future. And the more she 
reflected^ the more she wished to be free from 
Mr. Dods. All manner of wild plans flitted 
across her brain. Could she not run away? 
But whither was she to run and with whom ? 
She had no lover with whom to go. She could 
not return to the pensiorij for it was now shut up, 
owing to the marriage of Miss Holt, the lady 
who had kept it ; and Mr. Spindler, the music- 
master, had great difficulty in scraping enough to 
keep body and soul together from the profits of 
his music lessons and his employment in the or- 
chestra of the theatre, to which M. Paul, the 
barber, had taken Thyrza to hear " Egmont.^^ 
So Mr. Spindler, in the way of assistance, was 
wholly out of the question. To go back to Car- 
mylie was impossible. There remained the hos- 
pital of St. Sulpice ; but when one is only 
seventeen ahd has just begun to taste of the 
pleasures of life, one does not feel inclined 
to retire from the world to spend the rest 
of one^s days in tending the infirmities of the 
sick, the lame^ and the halt. Nevertheless 



Thyrza thinks that this would be preferable to 
Mr. Dods. 

The minister and Thyrza are in the garden 
belonging to the Bank — a narrow strip of ground 
enclosed within high brick walls. Between two 
apple-trees in the orchard,, whose leaves are fast 
ruddying into red and yellow speckled with 
black and brown and chocolate splatches, is 
slung a swing, in which Thyrza has hitherto 
been sitting, thinking over what she will say 
to the minister, and wondering if by any means 
she can escape from marrying him. Now, 
she rises and walks a little distance away from 
him. His astonishment is so great that it will 
only admit of his uttering the solitary excla- 
mation — 

'' My dear \" 

" I cannot marry you. I am afraid that you 
will think me a very wicked and ungrateful girl, 
after all your kindness. It seems dreadful 
and shocking ; but I cannot help it.^' 

The minister sits down upon the seat of the 
swing which Thyrza has just vacated, and makes 
room for her to come beside him, but she re- 
mains standing near him. 

" Do not go away from me,^^ he says, laying 
his hand on her arm, " I have not quite taken 
in yet what you said. Did I hear rightly that 


you cannot marry me ? What can be the reason 
for this extraordinary statement V 

Words fail Thyrza, and she is silent. The 
minister repeats his question. 

" I do not love you sufficiently to marry you, 
Mr. Dods/' she replies at last, with a calmness 
which is derived from despair. 

The majority of men, no doubt, would have 
at once released Thyrza from her engage- 
ment on hearing her sentiments so plainly and 
unequivocally expressed. Not so Mr. Dods. 
He instantaneously resolves that although she 
does not at present love him, she shall do so 
before long. She has promised to become his 
wife on the morrow, and that promise she must 
be made to keep. How foolish the minister 
would appear in the eyes of his friends, neigh- 
bours, acquaintances, did he allow his marriage 
to be broken ofiP at the last moment, when the 
boxes with Thyrza's trousseau are already packed 
and directed to Mrs. Dods ; the carriage and 
horses engaged to convey them to the railway 
station, and the wedding-breakfast already set in 
the Bank dining-room, the door of which is kept 
rigidly locked by Mrs. Hislop, and only opened 
as a great favour for private view to intimate 
friends. Besides, Mr. Dods is blindly, madly in 
love with Thyrza, and only her known hatred 


and detestation of all embraces and demonstra- 
tion, either alone or " afore fouk/^ restrains him 
now. Anything of the kind^ however, until they 
are married^ he is well aware w^ould mortally 
offend her. It is true, he is old enough to be 
lier father, and that his habits are fixed as 
those only of an elderly man can be, who 
has, for the most part of his days, lived 
alone and in an obscure and out-of-the-way 
country village. Had Thyrza suggested this 
argument, he would have answered it, though 
admitting its truth, by saying it was fortunate 
that she was young, for it would be easy to 
mould her to his notions and tastes ; while, had 
his wife been nearer his own age, it would have 
been much more difficult for them to have got 
on, as her habits might have been as settled 
as his and the very opposite and contrary in 

" My dear, have you any repugnance towards 
me V 

'' No, Mr. Dods.^' 

" Has any one been influencing your mind 
against me?^'' 

'' No.'' 

" Has anything been said or done by me to 
warrant any change in your feelings towards me V* 

" No/' 


" Has any rumour, report, or gossiping-story 
reached you affecting me calculated to offend 
you or your worthy and respected relatives V 

'' No/^ 

" Then what is there to prevent your fulfilling 
your engagement, Thyrza ? You do not dislike 
me, you have no positive aversion to my society, 
and I think I may without vanity say, I have 
endeavoured, so far as is within my power, to 
indulge your every wish, and, my dear, I shall 
continue to do so. It seems to me, Thyrza, that 
this is a very serious thing indeed, a thing not 
to be trifled with. It is the turning point and 
crisis in my life. I do not scruple to tell you 
that all the hopes of my future lie with you, and 
I do not think you will disappoint me. What 
is your reason, my dear T^ 

^^\ — I don''t love you,-'^ rejoins she, hastily, 
reddening over her face and throat. 

No idea that Thyrza has ever had another 
lover besides himself strikes the minister. She 
has not breathed such a thing to him, and 
although slow and cautious in his premonitory 
wooing until started off the line by Mrs. Napier's 
hints, he has always had his eye upon her from the 
first. The women with whom he has hitherto asso- 
ciated have been, if anything, too kind to him. He 
has not experienced an obstacle before, and the 


novelty of a difficulty now gives zest and animation 
to his love-making. Thyrza had unconsciously 
hit upon the right way at the beginning of 
interesting both Terrier and Mr. Dods^ by sym- 
pathizing with the one and being rather cold to 
the latter. 

" But as you have no absolute dislike to plead^ 
I do not doubt but that the love will come in 
due time. It is not good to love a creature too 
much; within reason and within bounds is 
enough. If the aifections are allowed to reach 
the pitch of a kind of idolatry " 

" What happens then ?'" she interrupts^ with 
a burst of impetuous feeling. 

" Then the Almighty removes the idol." 

" Oh !" says she. 

Now she knows why it all ended so unhappily 
about Ferrier. She loved him too mucli^ and 
like Jonah^s gourd, the temptation to idolatry 
was removed. 

"1 am sure, my dear, that you will now see 
the justice of fulfilling your promise." 

"Mr. Dods, cannot you wait? Let us put 
it off." 

" I like neither put-off marriages nor long 
engagements ; they come to no good. To what 
purpose should we defer our marriage ? The 


love that is lacking will come when we know 
more of each other, and it is perhaps better that 
we do not start with too exalted feelings and 
thoughts, so that for you at any rate there is the 
less chance of disappointment/^ 

•^ Oh, do let us wait,^^ she cries, retiring pre- 
cipitately into a hedge of sweet-peas hard at 
hand, like a rainbow ocean or a multitude of 
butterflies with stalks and leaves attached to 

" No, Thyrza,^' says the minister, rising 
abruptly from the swing and pursuing her, " I 
will not wait nor defer our marriage. I will 
not wait another day nor hour, nor minute 
longer than the time originally settled. If you 
should change your mind in reality I shall 
bring an action against you/-' 

" You would come off with a farthing's 
damage,^' she replies, going farther backwards 
from him. " Stop, stop, Mr. Dods, stop there 
where you are while I ask you one question." 

" Very well," he answers. 

" How are we to manage about our different 
religions? I am an Episcopalian and you are 
a Presbyterian minister." 

" That is easily settled ; I shall want you to 
come to Carmylie kirk the first Sunday after 


our return from the Western Hig-lilancls, but on 
other Sundays you are free to go to churcli 
at Queensmuir, wind and weather and roads 
permitting. I do not wish to interfere with 
my wife's religion unless,, indeed, I can convert 
her to mine/' 

'^ Then j^ou will not let me off?'' says she, 
with an irresistible twinkle of mirth and mischief 
in her eyes. 

" No, I shall not, and we shall be married to- 
morrow. In the sight of heaven we are already 
married, and I could claim you as my wife any- 
Avhere, at any rate in Scotland. I could insist 
upon the fulfilment of your promise." 

" Oh, if you are going to insist and all that, 
I will have nothing to do with you," she exclaims, 

" No, nO; Thyrza ; Thyrza dearest, I insist 
on nothing; I beg and entreat," cries the 
minister, hastening over the beds covered with 
dead apple leaves to Thyrza, and putting his 
arms round her, " Thyrza, think of my lonely 
house and desolate rooms ; think of my blighted 
life, the life which it is in your power to make 
or mar; have a little pity and compassion on 
me. Oh, Thyrza, will not you listen to me ?" 

" Yes, Mr. Dods, I suppose I must," she says, 
with a deep sigh, " I promised you and I will 


keep my promise. But don^t, doiiH; you are 
not keeping your part of the bargain ; keep 
yours and I will keep mine^ and remember, Mr. 
Dods. whatever happens, that you compelled me 
to marry you.^^ 

" Whatever happens/^ replies the minister, 
solemnly, and yet triumphantly — triumphantly, 
because he has gained his point, and is sure of 
his pretty bride ; solemnly, because it is his last 
parting from the girl who is to be his wife, 
and only a few brief hours remain before he 
and she are indissolubly united. " The blame 
rests with me. But nothing can happen, at 
least, nothing seriously disagreeable. Little un- 
pleasantnesses one must expect in this sublunary 

And Thyrza and Mr. Dods go into the 
Bank, it being sundown and the farewell rays 
having vanished from the windows of the 
houses and the tail of the gilt dragon on the 
kirk steeple, on which the last sunbeam usually 
lingers when the rest have fled to the ^' golden 

'^ I was in earnest, Mr. Dods, in asking you 
to release me from my engagement," says 
Thyrza, haltiug at the Bank back-door. 

" And I am perfectly in earnest in wishing it 
to hold good." 


" I only want to do what is right/^ 
"You will do right by marrying me to- 
morrow/^ answers Mr. Dods. There is a touch 
of sternness, not to say of asperity also, in his 
decided tones, and Thyrza clearly understands 
that nothing now short of a miracle can prevent 
her marriage with the minister. 


l^ngHlT is Mr. Dods^s wedding-morning. He rises 
l^^l early and throws open the window of his 
bedroom in the Carmylie Arms, to which place 
he has been sent to sleep for the last night of 
his bachelorhood, and looks out to see what sort of 
day it is. The weather promises to be lovely ; 
a good omen, he thinks, for the future. Above the 
little Norman turrets of the town-house, compared 
by irreverent-minded Queensmuirians to a ginger- 
bread edifice, and the dark blue slate roofs of 
the red sandstone houses, rises an outline of 
azure hills, wooded towards the west but bare of 
trees and cultivated to the very top in the direc- 
tion of the east. Some pigeons dart rapidly to 
the kirk steeple, then alight on the ground, 
cooing and pecking up some grains of corn, and 
again fly away, one more daring than its fellows 
balancing itself on the gilt dragon. 

The minister does not eat much breakfast, and 


what lie does is quickly disposed of. After break- 
fast he goes to adorn himself for the all-important 
ceremony. He shaves his heard with care, and 
combs his white locks over the shining bald 
place on the crown of his head. Perhaps it is 
the sunlight which reveals more clearly than 
usual his wrinkles and crows'-feet, but somehow, 
until this morning, he has not thought how old 
he looks, indeed venerable, by the side of Thyrza. 

It is getting on towards eleven o^clock a.m. ; 
he and Thyrza are to be married at the half- 
hour, and to leave Queensmuir by the 1.20 train, 
en route for Glasgow, from whence they are to 
proceed to Arran and Bute for their honeymoon. 
To the minister's vexation, the new coat, vest, 
and trousers which were to be his festal array, 
do not put in their appearance from Edinburgh, 
where they have been ordered a fortnight ago. 
He interrogates the landlord of the Carmylie 
Arms, fumes a good deal, and storms a little at the 
tailor's dilatoriness. He waits until eleven o'clock 
strikes, but there lias been some mistake, and 
after all he is obliged to don his ordinary garments. 

Marriages in" the Hislops' rank of life being 
uncommon events in Queensmuir, and the Bank 
being built on the High Street or market-place, 
the good citizens arc nearly beside themselves 
with excitement, and a complete mob has assem- 


bled at the Bank door. Flags in honour of the 
minister's wedding hang in many of the windows, 
all of which are besieged by sight-seers, on the 
look-out for a glimpse of the wedding guests as 
they descend from their carriages. 

Mr. Hislop has gone to the steps of the Bank 
door, and said something vaguely about reading 
the Riot Act, and his being a magistrate of the 
burgh, but the mob is very good-natured and in 
the best of tempers with itself and everybody, 
and Mr. Hislop's remarks are inaudible in a ring- 
ing cheer for himself and his family, which is ex- 
tremely flattering to his vanity, and calls forth from 
his pocket a shower of " sweeties " and coppers. 

The minister elbows his way through the crowd, 
which cheers him vociferously. 

When he reaches the Bank he finds Tertius 
w^alking up and down a passage repeating the 
speech in which he is to return thanks for the 
bridesmaids at the breakfast. 

" As I have never been obliged to get on my 
legs before on such an occasion as the present, 
ladies and gentlemen — eh, eh — I yet venture to 
detain you for — eh, eh — a short space of time in 
which I beg to propose the healths of the young 
and lovely bridesmaids. Talk of tlie jewels in 
the mines of Golconda, talk of diamonds — 
eh, eh — these gems, however fair and sparkling, 


are not to be compared to the bluebells of old 
Scotia — eb, eh — bluebells — eh — bluebells. Cousiu 
James, what in the world does come after blue- 
bells ? Tve been and lost the paper on which 
the speech is written, and I^m blowed if I can 
remember what comes after bluebells.'''' 

'' Cut it short/' says Mr. Dods, " speeches at 
a breakfast are usually a great nuisance. How 
is Thyrza V 

" She was O. K. when I last heard of her/' 
replies Tertius. " I must have another try at 
this ; — * As I have never been obliged to get on 
my legs.' I don't know what has come to me. I 
can't get any further now than ^ My legs before 
on such an occasion.' " 

While Tertius is talking the minister has been 
rummaging in each and all of his sundry and 
manifold pockets in coat, &c. 

" Tertius, I have left the ring and the banns 
behind in the inn, and the clergyman will refuse 
to marry me without the banns." 

" Jupiter Olympus !" exclaims Tertius, pausing 
in the middle of another trial to repeat the 

" Will you go and get them for me ?" 

^^ I don't quite see it, Cousin James," says 
Tertius, regarding his new swallow tails and 
a bouquet of flowers, as big as a cabbage, in his 


buttonhole ; " there is that crowd to get through, 
and perhaps I might not find the ring and banns." 

Thereupon the minister hurries back to the 
Carmylie Arms, and discovers the important 
document and missing ring on his dressing-table 
in his bedroom. 

As he is there he takes another glance at 
himself in the mirror and sees that his hat, owing 
to the heat, has left a purple band round his 

When it is removed he again contemplates 
himself, and this time with satisfaction. A 
thought again strikes him, but fortunately before 
he is out of the inn. He has not brought his 
white kid gloves with him, and it is impossible that 
he could go through the ceremony without them. 
He returns to his room, and procuring them 
endeavours to put them on — a more difficult 
matter than he imagined it would be. Any 
one who has put on a pair of new unstretched 
gloves in a hurry will have some sympathy 
with Mr. Dods on his wedding morning in his 
efforts to pull on the reluctant kid. He is so 
afraid of keeping Thyrza waiting, and that she 
may think him an unwilling bridegroom, that he 
splits one glove to bits, and reserving the other 
until he is at the Bank, he sets out for the 
second time on his road thither. 

VOL. III. 6 


On his return for the gloves the landlord and 
landlady exchange covert smiles, and the minister 
tries to look as though he did not notice them, 
or at any rate as if he thought they were smiling 
at the vagaries of somebody else. After all, he 
is at the Bank too soon by half-an-hour. 

The drawing-room has been fixed upon as the 
best apartment for the marriage to take place in. 
The greater part of the furniture has been re- 
moved; seats are arranged round the room as if 
for a dance, and at the end near the two win- 
dows, looking out upon the street, a temporary 
altar is erected on which are a number of vases 
filled with hot-house flowers sent by Miss Lefroy 
from Lillieshill ; the family Bible, in which the 
Hislops have spelled out chapters on Sunday 
evenings when small children ; the Register kept 
by the Episcopalian clergyman, Mr. Brown ; and 
pens, ink, and blotting paper. 

Mrs. Hislop has determined that as Thyrza is 
to marry Mr. Hislop^s cousin, who is also her 
own once removed, Mr. Dods ; and as, owing 
to a request made by Mrs. Napier at the Mac- 
Nabs^ ball, the marriage is to come off at the 
Bank, the affair shall be done in style. Con- 
sequently, she invited the Lefroys and Mr. 
Mark, the MacNabs, as being county people, 
and a considerable number of Queensmuirians, in 


order that they may with their own eyes behold 
the intimate terms on which she and hers are 
with the Kilniddry shire "upper ten^^ and theirs. 
Originally, it had been settled that the marriage 
should be at Carmylie ; but Charity, thinking it 
would be safer for Jack and Thyrza not to meet 
until the latter was fairly Mrs. Dods, changed 
the plan, throwing the responsibility of the 
change on Mrs. Terrier. 

Early as the minister is, most of the guests 
are before him, and after a violent attempt to 
pull on his gloves, which attempt ends in a 
miserable failure, he shakes hands heartily and 
energetically with everybody ; in fact, so ener- 
getically with some that their fingers ache and 
tingle for several minutes afterwards. 

The Miss Tods, with a prayer-book between 
them — the Bank people being Presbyterians 
have been obliged to borrow prayer-books from 
their more enlightened neighbours — held upside 
down and open at the '^ Baptism for those of 
E/iper Years,^"* shake their heads mournfully as 
they gaze with eyes full of melancholy sad- 
ness on the devoted and manly figure of " dear 
Cousin James." Oh, that his eyes may be 
opened before long to the iniquities of the dark- 
haired Delilah, who has shorn their beloved 
Samson of his strength^ and rendered him so im- 



patient and fidgety for lier arrival that he is 
unable even to take time to put on his kid gloves 
like a sensible man. Alas ! that when that 
awakening shall come,, he will have been already 
sacrificed^ and be a married man. 

The clergyman, who is to officiate, is the next 
to come. Mr. Dods shakes hands with him in 
the same hearty style, which Mr. Brown excuses 
under the circumstances, and then takes him 
aside to explain the service, in order to prevent 
any awkwardness. 

'' Do you feel shaky, Cousin James ?" asks 
Tom, with the easy assurance of one who is not 
in the least concerned in what is going to 

" It must be a fiery trial in a large church 
crammed to suffocation,^^ says Mark, laughing ; 
*^ it would be too much for my weak nerves. 
Imagine waiting before the assembled multitude 
for perhaps twenty minutes. The rack or the 
thumbscrew would be nothing to it.^' 

" It is my opinion that the walk up the aisle 
under the scrutiny of one^s neighbours is one 
reason for the great increase of bachelors in 

'^"When I marry, no one shall know anything 
about it, Mrs. MacNab. The lady and I shall 
slip into a church very early in the morning. 


and she shall have on a print dress_, or something 
common,, and there shall be no person there 
but the parson, the clerk, and ourselves. The 
announcement in the papers will be the first 
news any one hears of my marriage/' 

" You will be clever if you can persuade the 
lady to submit/' rejoins Mrs. MacNab. '^ I 
should not have felt myself properly married if 
I had not worn something diflPerent from my 
everyday gown. Besides, it is the great event 
of a woman's life, and so it is natural to make a 
fuss about it." 

" I assure you, Mr. Mark, that the ordeal is 
worse in a small room than in a large church," 
says Mr. MacNab ; ^' but I should think when 
you are married there will be great doings in 
your honour." 

" Yes, Mr. Mark, cannons fired," answers 
Mr. Hislop, " the bells of Queensmuir rung, 
illuminations and sky-rockets, and the Volunteer 
band playing ' See the Conquering Hero comes,' 
as a compliment." 

'^ Heaven forbid !" answers Mark, fervently. 

'"' Robertina, Robertina, how much longer 
shall you be adorning yourself?" cries Tom, 
running upstairs to his sister's room as fast as a 
new pair of very tight fitting shiny patent 
leather boots will allow him. " Gurls are so 


taken up with looking at themselves and their 

" I would say girls_, and not gurls, if I were 
you/' retorts Robertina, perambulating the room 
in a state of pins and fluster. 

" If you'd been civil I'd have told you what 
Burnet said of you just now." 

" What did he say ?" asks she, all eagerness 
and curiosity. 

'' A likely thing that I shall tell you after you 
have snubbed a fellow." 

" Oh, Tom, I won't do so any more. Was it 
anything nice ?" 

^' Do you see any green in my eye ?" answers 
Tom, spreading out his coat tails and mincing 
along in the gait aflPected by his cousins, the 
Miss Tods, when entering a room full of people, 
he squeaks in a voice exactly like that of Cousin 
Jemima when Cousin Jemima is in a high key, 
" Twiggez vous, Robertina ? He said, I know 
you are dying to know, so I will tell you; he 
said then that Cousin Thyrza was the belle of the 

" How do I look ?" she inquires, not con- 
descending to reply. 

" Much as usual." 

'^ How is that?" 

" Rather red in the face, and your hair 


cushions are shooting out in all directions/^ re- 
turns Tom, uncompromisingly ; " but you need 
not mind_, Robertina. No one will look at jou" 

^^ I am not so sure of that/^ responds Kobertina. 

" Is my improver big enough ? It collapsed 
last week, and I had to stuff it with a Kibiiddry- 
shire Advertiser to make it stick out properly." 

" Ugliiier, you mean," says Tom. " Yes, it's 
big enough, as big as a dromedary^s hump, and 
about as pretty. Cousin Thyrza does not w^ear 

" Oh, Cousin Thyrza is going to be a minister's 
wife, which I am thankful I am not. She is no 
example for me." 

" Everybody has come, all one^s own uncles 
and aunts and cousins, and cousins a hundred 
times removed, and Cousin James is sitting on 
pins and needles, thinking Cousin Thyrza has 
eloped with some one, she is so long m coming. 
I am sure I should too if I had to marry him." 

" Indeed, mamma says Cousin Thyrza has fallen 
on her feet to get such a man as Cousin James, 
and she has no money and never will have any." 

" Cousin James has fallen on his feet. If I 
fall in love it won^t be because the girl is a good 
housekeeper, or has good connexions or money ; 
but it will be because I like her and she likes 


'^ Cousin Thyrza has had a bad headache and 
has not been up long ; that is the reason she is 
not ready. Mamma was afraid the marriage could 
not come off to-day.^^ 

" Cousin James would go out of his mind if it 
were put off now. Hallo, Tertius, do you know 
the speech yet in which you are to return thanks 
for the bridesmaids ? That is one comfort of 
not being the eldest. I have got out of it.^^ 

" He stuck awfully in saying it when I heard 
him repeat it last night.^^ 

" You ought to go and talk to Cousin Jemima, 
dear boy. You are her pet, you know.^' 

'^ I would as soon touch the tail of a mad 
bull with a pair of red-hot tongs as talk to the 
Miss Tods to-day^ when Cousin James is going 
to be married," replies Tertius, with an air of 
languid dandyism. " I have been looking into 
the dining-room, and there is a jolly spread, and 
such a wedding cake ? I never had a proper 
tuck in at wedding cake before, but I will now.^^ 

" Gormandizing fellow !" mutters Tom. 

" I hope you did not touch anything or make 
a mess of the cloth,''' says the unexpected voice 
of Mrs. Hislop. " I deserve a good deal of 
praise, I think, for having got up a wedding- 
breakfast at such short notice. I did not know 
until Saturday night at the ball. Sunday I 


could do nothing, and Monday morning I began 
to get ready and invited all the people, asking 
them to excuse the brevity of the invitation. I 
think I have worked wonders/^ 

" So do I, mother.^' 

" Will you ask your father if he has told Mr. 
Mark he is to give away Thyrza T^ 

" Cousin James is in the passage ; in fact, he 
is coming upstairs.^^ 

" Preserve the man !" exclaims Mrs. Hislop, 
" what will he do next T' 

The minister ascends the stairs, inquires after 
Thyrza, and narrates the mishap with regard to 
his wedding garments. 

" She will be down in a moment ; but [you 
have no patience, Cousin James. Really it is 
very unlucky about your clothes ! I never knew 
but two cases before like it. The one was that 
of a bridesmaid who lost her wedding dress, and 
the other was a bridegroom who lost his luggage 
at Perth and had, like yourself, to be married in 
his ordinary coat. But observe the result, 
Cousin James, observe the result,''^ continues 
Mrs. Hislop, emphatically, pointing her fore- 
finger right into the minister's face — " in both 
instances the couples were separated before the 
year was out V 

" Dear m». Cousin Helena V 


" Well^ go down, Cousin James, and you boys 
too. I cannot be annoyed with you up bere. 
Tbe bride is ready, Robertina. Are you not T^ 

^^ You will never be married, Robertina,^^ 
replies Tom, as parting consolation, and he re- 
tires downstairs to the drawing-room with Mr. 
Dods and Tertius. 

Then there is a pause and for the most part 
conversation ceases. Only little streams and 
trickles of talking continue. Mr. Lefroy tries 
to be jocular, and tells old " Joe Millers^'' to Mr. 
Hislop, who has heard them hundreds of times 
before at Lillieshill, told in exactly the same 
words, over the prime sherry that has been to 
India and back again. Everybody feels it 
incumbent on them to look happy and say 
something funny, especially the male portion 
of the guests. This duty does not fall upon the 
women. They have on their best gowns and are 
consequently supposed to be in Paradise. Mr. 
Dods is unwillingly marched to his place by the 
altar, where he stands conning over the responses 
he will have to make in the service, and occa- 
sionally glancing with intense interest towards 
the door. Cousins Jemima and Keren- Happuch 
piously trust that something has happened to 
save the minister, and are prepared with con- 
solations ready cut and dried on the tips of their 


tongues. They are all very well at a marriage, 
but " give them a good solid funeral.'"' 

At length when Mr. Dods has been worked up 
to an almost uncontrollable pitch of suspense, the 
door is flung wide open and Thyrza enters lean- 
ing on Mark's arm, accompanied by Jane and 
Lola MacNab and Robertina Hislop as her 
bridesmaids. She looks very pretty, but pale, 
in her white silk dress made high up to the neck, 
and with a long train sweeping nearly a yard 
behind her. Instead of the orthodox orange 
blossoms, she has a \7reath of white heather in her 
dark hair, plaited to-day in coils of shining 
braids round her head, and a plain white tulle 
veil without figure or ornament covers the little 
bride from her brown face to the foot of her 
white gown. A small spray of heath, white also, 
fastens her lace collar ; but she has no adorn- 
ment of jewels. Even the strict Puritanical old 
maids, the Miss Tods, cannot find fault with the 
simple, untrimmed, unflounced attire, quiet and 
plain as that of a Quakeress. 

Then the minister does a most unprecedented 
thing. He walks down the entire length of the 
room between the rows of spectators to meet 
Thyrza, and taking her by both hands, says — 

" How are you, my dear V^ 

" Very well, thanks, Mr. Dods,'' she replies ; 


but Mark notices that she trembles a good 

" She will be yours in about ten minutes 
more^ Mr. Dods/' rejoins Mark. ^' Go back 
to your place and I will bring her up.^^ 

Mr. Dodsj not in the least disturbed,, does as 
he is told^ and in a few moments the service is 
begun. Mark observes Thyrza stands as far as 
possible from the minister^ and he perceives that 
her face is like her veil, perfectly white. She 
makes all the responses clearly and distinctly. 
The minister has some fears when the question 
is asked, '' Has any/' kc, kc, that their union 
may be protested against; but no such inter- 
ruption comes. When the clergyman is about 
to join their hands, Mr. Dods cannot get his 
glove off. It was obstinate in going on, it is 
still more obstinate in coming off, and Mark is 
obliged to give him some assistance in the 
matter. In another minute James Oliphant 
Dods and Thyrza Rutherfurd are man and wife. 

It is the supreme, the crowning moment of 
the minister's life. He is oblivious of the con- 
gregated guests ; he hears nothing of the holy 
words the clergyman is reading; he sees only 
Thyrza, and with an irrepressible feeling of ex- 
ultation and joy, he catches her in his arms and 
kisses her. When his lips touch hers a shiver 


passes over her, and for an instant a burning 
scarlet suflfuses her face succeeded by a deadly 

Cousin Jemima is unable to control her 
wrath at the minister's disregard of the pro- 
prieties and decorum. 

^' Surely, Keren - Happuch, Cousin James 
might have waited until, at least, the blessing 
was said V she exclaimed aloud in horror, and 
as she is standing near the minister he hears it, 
but he heeds it not. Mr. Hislop hears it too, 
and with difficulty restrains a laugh. Cousin 
Jemina has scarcely given vent to her indigna- 
tion than there is a universal rush forward to 
the minister and Thyrza, and Mrs. Hislop cries 
out with a little scream, 

'^ She has fainted V 

" Lay her on the sofa, Mr. Dods,'' advises 

" Get some burnt feathers and dash cold water 
in her face,'' counsels Mr. Lefroy. ^^ What a 
peculiar thing, very particularly so ! Never saw 
a bride faint before." 

" Smelling salts, Mrs. Hislop,*' calls Mrs. 
MacNab. " Archie, run for the doctor." 

" Take care of her veil, Robertina, and do not 
crumple her frill," says !Mrs. Hislop, prac- 


'^ It is only a common fainting fit, so I think 
a doctor is unnecessary/^ replies Mark. " She 
has been overdone with the ball, and the fatigue 
of dancing and the late hours, joined to the ex- 
citement of to-day, has been too much for her. 
I daresay she went to the kirk, too, on Sunday 
instead of resting herself. ■'■' 

'' To be sure she did ; she went twice to the 
kirk,''"' answers Jemima Tod, austerely, pursing 
up the prim corners of her mouth until it looks 
as though filled with sour plums. " Would you 
have had her stay at home from the kirk on the 
Sabbath-day, because she had danced too much 
the night before, at one of those vain things — 
a ball? It is well seen already that for those 
ordained to be ministers^ wives the pursuit of 
foolish and frivolous gaiety brings its own reward, 
even weariness and vexation of spirit ! Now, / 
never was at a ball in my life \" 

" So I should easily suppose^ Miss Tod,^^ re- 
turns Mark, with a droll glance, which does the 
souls of Tom and Tertius good, and makes their 
hearts warm within them towards Luke. 

^^Do you think it is only an ordinary fainting 
fit brought on by the fatigues of the ball ?^^ asks 
Mr. Dods, anxiously. 

" Indeed, I do,"*^ replies Mark, touched by the 
minister's unfeigned and true affection for his 


young wife. " Many girls of her age are sub- 
ject to these fainting fits ; and during a London 
season, if it is her first one^ many a lady faints. 
But after a short time they become hardened 
and accustomed to the late hours. Thyrza is 
not robust, but she is perfectly healthy, although 
not able to bear any great amount of fatigue. I 
have no doubt she will be quite w^ell in a short 
time, and the change of air and scene will set 
her up for the winter. I thought her looking 
very pale during the last few days of her stay at 
Carmylie, before she came to Queensmuir ; but 
at the ball she seemed to have picked up won- 
derfully again." 

^' I think she will be more comfortable up- 
stairs in her own room," returns Mr. Dods. '^ I 
will carry her there at once," and suiting the 
action to the words, he lifts his newly-wedded 
wife in his arms and conveys her out of the 
drawing-room to her chamber in the next story 
of the house, refusing all offers of assistance 
excepting from Mrs. Hislop, while Cousin 
Jemima moralizes over the perniciousness of 
balls, as being under the patronage of the evil 
one ; and Cousin Keren-Happuch goes ofi' into 
an attack of hysterics and a flood of tears. 

" What, what, what, what !" exclaims Mr. 
Lefroy, agitatedly, prancing up to her uncere- 


moniously and flinging a tumbler of cold water 
indiscriminately over her new mauve cap and 
collar, in his efl'orts to calm and soothe her. 
'' What, what the deuce are you pi-pi-piping at, 
ma^am ? Compose yourself, Miss Tod. Pray be 
composed ; do be composed/' with another 
deluge of the cold-water cure over her, which 
completes the ruin and devastation of the mara- 
bout feathers in her cap. "What is there to 
cry about ? We are not at a funeral ; correct 
thing to cry at a funeral, not at a marriage 
though, not at a marriage. Did you never see a 
woman in a fainting fit before, Miss Tod T' 

" I am not Miss Tod,'' gasps the appalled 
lady ; appalled in two ways — first, by his short- 
ness and sharp jerky sentences ; and, secondly, 
by the contemplation of the damage done to her 
cap. " I am Miss Keren-Happuch Tod." 

"Lord ! what a name !" returns Mr. Lefroy, 
with an energetic dose of eau de Cologne on the 
top of Cousin Keren-Happuch's thin hair. 
" What could your idiotic godfathers and god- 
mothers have been about to give you such a 
barbarous name ? By-the-bye, being a woman, 
you would have only one godfather and two god- 
mothers. But what were they about, I say, what 
were they about ? Why did not you see after 
them ?" 


" How could she^ Richard dear ?" meekly 
remonstrates Miss Lefroy. 

" Bless me, bless me, I forgot, I forgot. Of 
course she could not/^ 

'' Richard dear, Richard, dear,^^ says Miss 
Lefroy, feebly and appealingly. 

" Never you mind us. Fan. Miss Tod and I 
understand each other. You are quite calm and 
composed now, are you not ? Cold water is the 
best thing for the nerves. I saw what you wanted 
at once, saw it at once. I always see a thing at 
once. A glass of champagne will pull you 
together in no time now."*^ 

^' I never indulge in stimulants,^^ replies Miss 
Tod, freezingly. 

Mr. Lefroy observes the cold atmosphere, and 
resolves at once to captivate her. 

" Don^t you ? Then you ought to begin. A 
person of your delicate and fine calibre requires 
careful treatment, particularly so. Just allow 
me to relate to you an anecdote of how I cured 
Lady Elizabeth Gordon, who reminded me very 
much of you, by a prescription of my own. The 
chemist here said he would advise me to get 
a patent for it and shut up the doctors.^^ 

'^ I told you. Cousin James, that something 
would go wrong, because you lost your wedding- 
coat,^^ says Mrs. Hislop, when the minister has 

VOL. III. 7 


laid ThjTza down on her "bed and rolled back 
her veil^ watching eagerly for the first symp- 
toms of returning animation. 

" I did not lose my wedding-coat. Either the 
tailor did not have it ready in time, or else he 
forgot to send it. But it was not lost.-*^ 

" However,, be thankful nothing worse has 
happened .^^ 

The minister does not answer. He is too 
much absorbed in watching Thyrza, being visited 
by sundry qualms of conscience as to whether he 
has done right in insisting upon the girPs fulfilling 
her promise against her will. He has not 
forgotten that it is little more than twelve hours 
ago since she told him in plain words she did not 
love him. It is a rare occurrence for Mr. Dods 
to doubt the righteousness of his own actions or 
the purity of his own motives. He has been 
made much of by his friends and by his congre- 
gation. The latter have forgiven his bird-of- 
passage habits, saying ^^ it was just Mr. Dods's 
way/' and the former have entertained him 
hospitably because of his capability of making 
a dinner go off" well, and covering blank pauses 
in the conversation during the intervals whilst 
the courses are being removed and fresh ones 
brought in, by amusing anecdotes, most of 
which have found a place in " Scottish Life and 


Character/' In return the minister has enter- 
tained them at the manse to excellent dinners, 
milk, cream, chickens and trout being then abun- 
dant in the country. And so it comes to pass that 
lie has grown to regard himself as a little above 
other men of his class and grade. He is not 
blind to the fact that Thyrza's birth and " con- 
nexions " will increase his status in the eyes of 
his fellow-men. He is not blind either to the 
obvious and assiduous attentions of the Miss 
Tods, continued without let or hindrance for 
many years past. By looks and hints, more or 
less broad, had they themselves almost asked the 
question, which of us shall it be ? Mr. Dods 
had seen and had understood, but while enjoying 
the excellent jams and hams they sent regularly 
with their compliments to the manse, and calling 
them "pious Christian women,''' he had gone no 
farther. Mr. Dods cannot entirely shake off the 
twinges of his conscience, which twinges remind 
him that he would have had no difficulty in con- 
demning and pronouncing a verdict against a man 
who had acted as he had done. Suppose when 
Thyrza wakes she should shudder and shrink 
away from him as she had shuddered and shrank 
away from him when he kissed her. The 
minister could not help noticing the emotion 
which seemed to pass all over her body, and it 



Lad slightly damped his joy. If she should 
so shudder and shrink again he feels that 
his punishment will be greater than he can 


^^ Should you not leave her with me^ Cousin 
James ?'' inquires Mrs. Hislop. 

Her idea is that what she thought on the night 
of the tea party at the manse is correct, and that 
Mr. Dods had better have married some one older 
than Thyrza. But whatever might have been 
said on that point ought to have been said 
before, and she must now hold her tongue, for 
the minister and Thyrza are fairly married, and 
no power on earth now can separate them. 

" I will not leave Thyrza/'' he answers. " Why 
should I ?" 

" I thought she might be alarmed on awaken- 
ing to find you looking at her.^^ 

^' She need not be afraid of her husband.^'' 

" But she has been such a short time married. 
I did not feel quite at my ease with Eobert at 

" We are as much married as though we had 
been married twenty years instead of twenty 
minutes. This is my proper place, and I shall 
not abandon it.-*^ 

'^ I wish she would come to,^^ says Mrs. Hislop, 


" the potatoes for the breakfast will all be 

** She is waking now/'' cries Mr. Dods, 
" did you ever see such beautiful eyes and eye- 
lashes V' 

*' The sooner you are away for your wedding 
jaunt, the sooner you will be a sane man again/^ 
rejoins Mrs. Hislop, laughing. 

''^Am I married?" asks Thyrza, rubbing her 
eyes and propping herself up on her elbow. 

"You are my wife/'' retm-ns Mr. Dods, in 
delight and ecstasies of bliss. 

" Really and truly ?" she continues. 

" There is no doubt about it/^ he answers. 
" And I should like to see the man or the 
woman either who would venture to try to part 

'^ Then you are better ?" inquires Mrs. Hislop, 
" never heed the minister's raptures just now. 
You will have plenty of time for that on your 
honeymoon. Bless me, men are all alike at 
first. Wait until you have been a wife twenty 
years, and see what your husband will think of 
you then. It is one thing to win a man, but 
quite another to keep his affection. Well, what 
1 want to know is, will you be able to travel to 
Glasgow to-day ?" 


'' I do not think I can/' 

" At any rate you have missed the train. 
Cousin James ought to telegraph to the Tontine 
Hotel for your rooms to be kept until to-morrow, 
but as for those other far-away places on the 
west coast that you are going to, I suppose you 
will have as much bother in getting a telegram 
sent there as one has in sending one out to 

^^ Yes^ Cousin Helena, I think that will be a 
good plan. Thyrza, would you like to spend 
to-night at Carmylie ?" 

^' Now^ Cousin James_, that is so like a man ! 
]Men are the most inconsistent beings possible. 
They expect us to dress on nothing per annum^ 
and still look presentable, and never seem 
any older than sweet eighteen. Why_, you know 
very well that the manse is being painted 
and papered. There will not be a room for you 
to sit in.-'^ 

" Oh, pooh_, nonsense ! We shall find some 
room, I am sure.^' 

'^ You will see that what I say is correct." 

'^ Then what do you suggest ?" 

" To stay here of course like two Christians 
and be comfortable, instead of racketing oflP a 
drive of twelve miles to a house which I know 
you will find turned upside down.'' 


Mrs. Hislop's plan does not at all fall in 
with the minister's views. The Bank is of 
course a comfortable house, there is no 
question about that. But to a considerable 
extent the minister's courting, partly owing to 
Thyrza's dislike to spending any time alone 
with him, and partly owing to the publicity 
of the Bank, has had to be carried on under 
difficulties. Oftentimes when the minister had 
settled himself and his ideas preparatory to 
a cozy chat with Thyrza, the door of the 
room wherein they were sitting was burst 
open, and some person or persons, known 
or unknown to Mr. Dods, hastily withdrew, as a 
rule, unless extremely bold and audacious, and 
rapid steps hurried along the passage, while a 
warning voice exclaimed, " Don't go in there, 
don^t go in there ! They are there." Mr. Dods 
longs to be off and away with his wife. He 
detests the duty to his neighbours and kinsfolk 
of appearing at the breakfast, and in answer to 
Mrs. Hislop's offer, says dubiously, " hum.'' 

" Would you like to go to Carmylie, Thyrza?'' 
asks Mrs. Hislop. 

The first flicker of joy which he has seen on 
the girl's face since the night of the ball, streams 
across it at Mrs. Hislop's words, and she ex- 
claims, eagerly — 


" Yes, I should like it of all things/^ 

" Then you shall go/^ replies Mr. Dods, as 
loudly as though he were saying " to conclude, 
dearly beloved brethren/' on observing somnolent 
symptoms amongst his congregation. 

"Well, go your own way, Cousin James, but 
I know very well you will find the house just 
as I tell you. Mind, I have warned you.^^ 

" I am afraid I have given you a great deal 
of trouble, Mrs. Hislop, and it was very foolish 
of me to be so silly on my — my wedding 

" It was no trouble," responds Mrs. Hislop, 
mollified in spite of herself, " I propose that 
Thyrza changes her dress at once, and that we 
set oflP for Carmylie. To-morrow we shall call here 
on our way through Queensmuir for her boxes. '^ 

" And not come in to the breakfast ?" 

'' No, I think not." 

"Very well, and Cousin James, you can be 
sending the telegram to the Tontine w^hile 
Thyrza is putting on her travelling things." 

Mr. Dods having departed, Thyrza rises, and 
though feeling dizzy on standing on the floor, 
she succeeds in taking ofi" her wedding finery. 
She is obliged to sit down once or twice, but 
after a few minutes the disagreeable sensation 


passes away, and she is ready to go to the 
drawing-room with Mr. Dods, where she is re- 
ceived with congratulations and inquiries. There 
are still the names to be signed in the register. Mr. 
Dods writes his — James Oliphant Dods — with a 
dash and a tremendous flourish. After his comes 
the disjointed school-girl niggle of Thyrza^s. 
Mrs. Hislop is one witness, and Mark adds his 
signature on the side of Thyrza''s. Then come 
the farewells. Miss Lefroy almost breaks down 
at the last. 

" God bless jou" she says, kissing her, ^^ you 
see your mate did not die in the cradle. He 
came up to time. Did you pray for him as I 
told you to do ?" 

" No, I did not.^^ 

" Naughty girl, but he came of his own 
accord. That was better. You have got an 
excellent husband, my dear. He is a good man. 
Every one will tell you so, and the world has no 
choicer gift for a woman than a good husband. 
I hope you will prosper and live to see your 
great grand-children." 

Mr. Dods shakes hands again, kisses Mrs. 
Hislop, and Mark takes Thyrza down to the 
carriage, an action for which he has to render 
account to the minister. 


" If you are not kind to Cousin Thyrza/'^ calls 
Tom, '^ you need never show yourself in Queens- 
muir again /^ 

" Adieu, Thyrza/' says Mark, leaning in at 
the carriage window, to the admiration of the 
assembled concourse of Queensmuirians, great 
and small. " I have ended my parental duties 
by seeing you married. Are you not going to 
let me have some reward ? What do good little 
girls give their fathers ?" snatching a kiss. 

The carriage drives off, Mr. Dods draws down 
the blinds, to screen himself and Thyrza from 
the vulgar gaze of the Queensmuii'ians, and 
Mark and the others after throwing showers of 
rice and old shoes, one of which last hits the 
minister's hat on his nose, return to undergo 
the humdrum festivities of speeches and wedding 

''That old party. Miss Tod, is the most 
amusing person I ever met,-*' observes Mr. 
Lefroy, when everything is over and he is on his 
way to Lillieshill ; '' I assure you she was very 
much in love with me. I intend to present her 
with a new cap in compensation for the one I 

" It went off very well,'' returns Miss Lefroy, 
" I wonder what letters have come by the second 
post. The only thing was, that the bridegroom 



looked old enough to be the bride^s grand- 

'^ She is a nice little girl, and I hope she has 
not made a mistake/^ responds Mark, musingly, 
" I shall call at the manse to-morrow morning, 
to inquire how she is." 


HE evening falls sultry, and for the season 
of year, about the middle of October, 
it is strangely close and hot. Over the bay of 
Carmylie, apparently coming from the south-west, 
hang masses of lowering clouds. These clouds 
are singularly shaped, and in many of them the 
patterns of triangles and arches may be distinctly 
traced. It seems as though the looker-on might 
gaze through arches upon arches of opal-tinted 
vapour, until at the far end of the arcade the eye 
is lost in a flush of pink glow. In one of the 
largest of the clouds, the arms of a cross are 
plainly defined upon a triangular fissure in the 
vapour. The weatherwise among the fishing 
community predict a thunderstorm of unusual 
severity, and several of the fishermen who in- 
tended putting off to examine their lobster creels 
defer doing so until the morning, the coast being 
wgW known for its danger during a storm, and 


the capricious changes of the currents of the 

But at present^ as the carriage containing Mr. 
and Mrs. Dods reaches the brow of the brae 
leading into the single street of the village, 
nothing could be more peaceful than the aspect 
of the bay and the fishing village. 

The sun has just dipped down behind the rocky- 
summit of the Witches Law, leaving the sky all 
glorified with the brilliant colours of an autumn 
sunset. The red and white clusters of short and 
tall cottages, with their rusty tiled roofs and 
thatched chimneys, the natural pier of brown 
dulse-covered rocks stretching out into the water, 
the manse, the kirk and the kirkyard, and the 
outline of the merciless cliffs softened by a thin 
haze of mist, fine as the gossamer of a spider's 
cobweb, are almost more like an Academy picture 
than a living reality. 

The mighty breast of old ocean is lulled to 
rest, save close to the shore where some seamews 
are circling and screaming over a fringe of 

The tide is coming in, but it is coming in 
very quietly ; not with its ordinary hurry and roar 
and splash. It comes creeping, surging, rippling 
along in a very leisurely manner, gurgling with 
little foamy bubbles on its different currents that 


eddy under and above eacli other, through the 
salmon-stake nets, and the cleverly contrived room 
in which the fish meet their fate. At the end 
of the nets nearest the village is a heap of silver, 
consisting of a hundred and seventy salmon, 
some of them twenty and thirty pounds in weight, 
only a few minutes ago killed and taken out of 
the trap by the fishermen, several of whom are 
removing the fish into a cart with all possible 

The fishwives are carrying baskets of fresh 
haddocks, and dulse, and bait, from the shore. 
The fishermen sit at their cottage doors mending 
their nets and whistling cheerfully. At the Holy 
Well, a favourite place for village fiirtation, a 
handsome dashing young fellow, possessed of 
about as much money as " Jamie,'''' in Auld Robin 
Gray, utterly ineligible and undesirable in every 
respect, and consequently all the more fascinating, 
stands talking nonsense to a pretty barefooted 
girl, who ought to be at home cooking her 
father's supper. Some boys are playing marbles 
and a knot of men collected together are smoking, 
while one more learned than the rest, spells out 
aloud from last week's Advertiser, the latest 
London news. 

The improvements and painting have been 
going on actively at the manse since the 


minister's departure^ and Tibbie has managed 
the house-cleaning all her own way. Every 
room has been turned out at once. There is 
not a carpet left down on the floors^ nor a cur- 
tain at the windows ; and for the greater ease 
of Tibbie^ and the more thorough cleansing of the 
manse, from basement story to attic, she has had 
every bedstead taken to pieces, the beds carried 
to a small spare closet, and there laid, with the 
mattresses above the feather beds. Chairs, 
tables, &c., have been hoisted on to the landing, 
and there remain, poised one upon the other. 

The minister's marriage being a topic of ab- 
sorbing interest botb to the village and the people 
in the glen, Tibbie has had numerous visitors to 
see how things were going on at the manse. 
Then would Tibbie pause in the middle of 
sweeping or scrubbing the floor to conduct the 
visitors over the manse, and examine the brown 
paper parcels containing the new furniture for 
Thyrza's drawing-room, that had been sent from 
Middleby, as far as brown paper parcels can be 
examined without being absolutely opened. 

This happens to be the day selected by the 
judicious Tibbie to have all the chimneys of the 
manse swept, excepting those belonging to the 
bedrooms, where the painters and paperers are 
at work ; but owing to sundry interruptions. 


although it is now approaching towards teatime, 
she has not succeeded in finishing the operations 
of cleansing away the soot. 

"""' Rattray and a small boy putting in their ap- 
pearance, she decides on leaving this for another 
day, and descends to the front passage. 

" Is the meenister at home T' asks the said 

" Na, and what is mair, he will no be at 
hame for a fortnicht. What are ye wanting him 
for ?" 

^^ Joanna Ilea is deeing.''^ 

^' That auld wife ! She has been deeing sin' 
ever I kenned her. I doot she will need tae dee 
wanting the meenister. He is awa' on his mar- 
riage jaunt. Gang ben to the kitchen, and sit 
ye doon, and I will bring ye a piece bread and 

^' And how are you coming on wi^ the pent- 
ing, Tibbie T' inquires Kattray. 

" Dear bless me ! if there is no a carriage 
stopping at the manse gate/" exclaims Tibbie, 
^' and the losh keep me, there is the meenister 
and that lassie he has taen tae be his wife getting 
oot. Where in the name o" Fate will they bide 
the nicht ? It is pairfeckly redeecklous o" them 
coming out bye." 

'' This is our home, Thyrza dear,'' says Mr. 


Dods, opening the wicket gate for her to enter 
the garden. '' God grant it may prove a happy 
one to you, and that you may never have cause 
to regret the step I insisted on your taking of 
marrying me.^^ 

" I hope not/' she replies. " I do not think I 

" You wear no earrings/' continues Mr. Dods 
turning to her with the air of some one making a 

''Have you not noticed that before ?" 

" No, and I see you have not had your ears 
pierced. When we are in Glasgow this week, I 
shall take you to a jeweller's and get them pierced 
for you.'' 

" I do not like earrings, Mr. Dods, and I am 
such a coward, that I could not bear having my 
ears pierced. It seems to me a barbarous cus- 
tom to wear jewels suspended in one's flesh." 

'' Earrings are ornaments I admire very much. 
They are extremely becoming to most faces, and 
to you the flash of gold and jewels would be es- 
pecially suitable." 

" Suitable for a minister's wife ?" says she, 

" Yes, they would be suitable for your young 
fresh face. You have heard so much about the 
duties of ministers' wives, what they should wear, 

VOL. III. g 


and what they should do, that I am afraid you 
have taken a dislike to the title of minister. 
Should you have preferred me to have been of 
another profession ?" 

" No, I should not. I cannot fancy your ever 
having been anything else than just as you are 
now — long black coat tails, white choker, and 
white hair.^^ 

'^ Yet there was a time, Thyrza, when I was 
called the ^ Black Prince'' by my fellow students, 
because of the darkness of my hair/^ 

'' You, Mr. Dods V 

There is as much expression and astonishment 
and incredulity in Thyrza^s " You, Mr. Dods,-*' as 
a schoolboy throws into his favourite exclamation, 
'^ Rather !" It expresses she is unable to ima- 
gine Mr. Dods as ever being young, or anything 
but solemn and slow in his manner of speech; 
in fact, exactly as he is at present. Some men 
are almost as touchy on the subject of their age 
and appearance as women. Mr. Dods thinks a 
good deal of his looks. He has flattered him- 
self he is not really so very much too old for 
Thyrza. Her exclamation of " You ! Mr. Dods,''"' 
is not pleasing to him, and, without lingering 
longer, he proceeds up the walk between the 
high box-edging to the manse. 

Tibbie has gone to divest herself of some of 


the soot, and to put on a pair of slioes ; Rat- 
tray is the first person who meets Mr. Dods's 
eye on entering the hall. 

" Well, Rattray, allow me to introduce my 
wife, Mrs. Dods.'' 

" And it is yersel, Maister Dods, is it ?^' 
answers Rattray, extending his honest, horny, 
hard-working hand. " And this is the lassie. 
And sae ye are married noo. Miss Rutherfurd — 
Axing yer pardin. Mistress Dods. All lassies 
think they are richt gin they were but married. 
How are you liking yer new stawtion in life T' 

" I have not had time yet to find out,^^ returns 
Thyrza, laughing. '' As far as it has gone, it has 
been very nice." 

" Let^s have a look at yer ring,''^ continues 
Rattray ; " it is a gey thick ane.''"' 

" How have you all been since I left V asks 
the minister. ^' Is any one married or has any 
one died ?" 

'' There is nae speak o^ onybody getting mar- 
ried but yersel and the lassie here, and that has 
made a gey speak. I suppose,^^ very insinuatingly 
and confidentially, '' that there will no be sic a 
thing in the manse as some whisky tae drink 
my respects tae the mistress and yersel ?" 

'^ I will get you some when I come down- 
stairs," answers Mr. Dods. " Thyrza, will you 

8 — 2 


come and see how the painting is getting on in 
the drawing-room T^ 

Mr. Dods and Thyrza go to the drawing-room, 
and from thence to the other rooms — which are 
all in more or less dire confusion, and covered 
with the relics of soot. At each fresh survey, 
he says, " Dear me ! dear me V and having been 
into the whole, he and Thyrza return downstairs, 
Mr. Dods feeling considerably depressed. 

" Do not tell Cousin Helena,''^ he begs, '' she 
will crow over me to the end of her days.^^ 

" Indeed, Mr. Dods, I shall tell her first thing 
to-morrow morning,^^ says Thyrza, amused at his 
discomposure. " Where shall we find a room to 
sit in ? It is impossible to sit in any we have 

" Would it please you to speak to the laddie 
here, Maister Dods ?" asks Tibbie, who has 
finished her toilette, and is now clothed and in her 
right mind. " He says Joanna Rae is deeing.^' 

" It is just a special providence the minister 
is at hame, is it no V drawls Rattray. 

" Does she want me immediately ?" 

" Immediate,^^ is the reply. ^' The doctor 
has given her up, and she has all the glen-side 
in her cottage helping her to dee canny.''^ 

" She has often had these turns — I have no 
doubt she will soon be well again.^^ 


" Nae prospect of it/' answers the boy, with 
the gusto the young have in relating any terrible 

" To-morrow will do, I daresay.'^ 

" She will be deid afore the morn." 

The minister is a thoroughly kind-hearted 
man, and, in general, gives more substantial help 
than empty ad\dce to the poor of his parish. At 
the present moment he is between two fires — the 
fire of it being his marriage day, the day he had 
hoped to spend in peace and quiet with Thyrza, 
and the fire of his duty to his flock. Of course, 
he ought not to hesitate for a single moment 
which to choose. But for all that, he does hesi- 
tate ; he — a minister of the Presbyterian kirk, a 
man subject to the rigour and severity of the 
General Assembly — hesitates, and swerves from 
the straight and narrow path of duty, to follow 
the broad, pleasant road of his inclinations. 

" Bother the old woman V' he exclaims. ^^ She 
is always having these turns, and does not die 
when done. Let us have some dinner, Tibbie, 
and Mrs. Dods and I will think the matter over.'' 

^^ Ye will get nae denner frae me,'' rejoins 

^' Why not ?" asks Thyrza, with dignity. 

" Dear bluss me ! things are no done wi' 
looking at. There is naething in the manse tae 


eat. We did not expect you, and sae tliere is 
naetliing provided."'^ 

" Is tliere not even a bit of cold mutton ?" 
inquires Mr. Dods, at his wits' ends. 

" The penters and me hae just had twa or 
kail broth, and some potatoes tae our denners. 
We're twelve miles frae a butcher's shop, sae how 
wad we get mutton tae cook T* 

" But are there not some remains of that ad- 
mirable ham sent me by the Miss Tods ? You 
could fry some slices of it, and they would be 
savoury eating with the addition of some eggs.'-* 

" Sae they would, and they wad fry fine and 
canny in the muckle frying-pan." 

" Then by all means begin." 

" But there is nae ham. Ye canna expect 
things tae last for ever, and Tammas and me 
we finished the ham the day you gaed tae 

" Dear me !" ejaculates Mr. Dods. ^^ Dear 

" Are there no eggs ?" asks Thyrza. " Some 
tea and bread-and-butter and eggs would be 
better than nothing." 

" There are nae eggs," replies Tibbie, folding 
her arms across her stomach. " It's no possible 
that hens can lay a' the year roond. The hens 
are all moulting noo, and it's fine laying beasts 


they hae been^ but even Carry, thafs the finest 
laying beastie I ever saw, has scarce a feather 
upon her blessed body, and she hasna had ane 
in her tail this week past and mair. They 
canna lay, puir beasts, when they are moulting/^ 

" There must be some bread and butter,^^ 
persists Thyrza. 

'' There is naething in the hoose until I bake 
oat cakes,^' answers Tibbie, with grave emphasis. 

Mr. Dods is very hungry, and he is also dis- 
appointed. What with the chaotic condition of 
the house, the half- cleaned rooms, the smell of 
paint and soot, the want of dinner, and his 
exceeding hunger, and the additional aggravation 
of the inopportune illness of the old woman in 
the glen, he is in that vexed, irritated state, 
which in women finds vent in tears. In a 
domestic crisis the man is seldom the one to 
take the lead. Mr. Dods is utterly at sea. 
He is unused to being j)ut out of his ordinary 
jog-trot routine, and he is excessively put out 
just now. 

The necessity for prompt action of some kind 
rouses Thyrza from the dreamy condition in 
which she has been since the ball. She looks 
at Tibbie, rather rejoiced than otherwise at the 
prospect of having a tug for the mastery, and 
determines that she will conquer her, and Tibbie 


looks at her new mistress, thinking she will soon 
vanquish that midge of a girl. 

'^ We must not be unreasonable, Mr. Dods/^ 
she says, " Tibbie did not expect us. Our only 
resource is to ask Mrs. Terrier to take us in. 
The house is too damp for us to remain here.^^ 

"There is just Mistress Terrier at hame/' 
adds Rattray, " the laird is out shooting, and 
Mistress Napier is awa"* staying wi^ thae twa 
auld deaf bodies, Lord and Lady George Boggs." 

" And about that plaguy sick person ?" asks 
Mr. Dods. " To go or not to go, that is the 

" When you have had some dinner you will 
see the world more couleur de 7'ose. I have not 
lived at Lillieshill without noticing how much 
happier Mr. Lefroy was after dinner than before 
it. Duty before pleasure though for ministers, 
ministers^ wives and relations. You must go to 
the old woman. It would be wrong to neglect 
your religious duties merely because you are 
married, and this is our wedding day " 

A speech which ought to convince Mr. Dods 
that in the heart of the girl he had wedded there 
is not a spark of love for him, and that all he can 
hope for is an ordinary friendship. She has 
mentioned no sorrow at passing the first evening 
of their married life apart ; has not even begged 


him to return as soon as possible. And she 
knows she has only to express the slightest wish 
on the subject for Mr. Dods to cast all respect 
for the Kirk Session and the General Assembly 
to the winds^ and he will leave the old woman 
to take care of herself. Thyrza would not be 
made of mortal flesh and blood_, certainly not of 
feminine flesh and blood, did she not know her 
power over the erudite scholar, accomplished 
theologian and antiquarian, the elderly minister 
of Carmylie — her husband. Since the morning 
she had learnt that her least expression approach- 
ing to afiection can make this big man — the 
minister is of no meagre stature or slight build — 
thrill with delight ; that her most trivial ailment 
fills him with anxiety, and that, in a word, she 
is his queen. No queen of beauty of old time 
was ever more loyally worshipped by her true 
knight than is Thyrza by the Rev. James Dods. 
Love is not a half-and-half affair with him. He 
goes at it with the impetus of the Bogg over its 
brown peaty bed. He loves as a Scotchman 
loves when a Scotchman really does love, with a 
slow intense fire which will only cease when the 
breath is out of his body and his bones are 
crumbled into dust, and Thyrza in return gives 
him only a tolerant kind of friendship. "Well, 
there are plenty of such bargains in the world. 


"bargains in which the one gives his heart's best 
gold, and the other gilded dross, perhaps not 
even taking the trouble to have the dross gilded. 
The arrangement into which the minister and 
Thyrza have entered is as far from being the first 
of its kind as it is from being the last which will 
be made. It by no means follows that the object 
adored is perfection. The women for whom men 
have lost life and home and honour were not 
always the best of women, and the men for whom 
women have given all have not always been the 
most noble or generous of their species. There 
is always Vun qui baise. Perhaps this is divinely 
ordained. Sinners make saints, and tyrants often 
call forth acts of magnificent self-devotion and 
fidelity. If there had been no persecution where 
would have been the saints and their heroic 
deeds ? So it may be that the publicans and 
sinners have their use in the world. 

It is a trite saying that human nature is human 
nature all over the globe, be the nation French, 
English, or Scotch; and one of Thyrza's attrac- 
tions to Mr. Dods has been her unwillingness to 
marry him. Had she been ready at a moment's 
bidding, half her fascination would have fled. 
We invariably desire those things we have not 
got ; we long for that which seems difficult to 
obtain. Distance often lends enchantment to 


the view. So we endeavour to get nearer. If 
the mountain won^t come to Mahomet^ why, 
Mahomet must go to the mountain. Even 
Thyrza^s unconcealed shrinking from him acted 
as a sort of motive to draw Mr. Dods towards 
her. To repel was_, in her case, to attract. 
Positive beauty she has not ; picturesque-looking 
she is, and she has the gift — the odd, inex- 
plicable gift — of charming men — a gift better 
than any amount of classic beauty ; one, how- 
ever, which she is yet unconscious of possessing. 

" It is very hard, Thyrza/" says Mr. Dods, 
having left Rattray and Tibbie perfectly happy, 
with a glass of whisky apiece, in which to drink 
the healths of the bride and bridegroom ; " it is 
very hard that on this day, to which I have looked 
forward with such pleasure, I have to leave you."*^ 

They have gone out into the old-fashioned 
garden. The bees, sated with honey, have 
hummed themselves to sleep under the warm, 
homely straw bee-skeps or hives, placed in a cosy 
bield, under a tumbledown wall dividing the 
manse garden from the steep street. The crim- 
son clove carnations in the heart-shaped beds 
and the China roses clustering lovingly with their 
sweet pink flowers against the manse give out 
their fragrance on the air, full of scents, still 
and warm as in the heat of Midsummer. In the 


gloamings the firelight shines out ruddy upon the 
street and the little pools of water left by a 
shower on the preceding night. The sea looks 
dull and dark. The revolving lamp of the light- 
house at the head of the bar turns its crimson 
signal landwards. The knot of men have dis- 
persed within their cottages^ and the sailor and 
the bare-footed girl have separated, she to dream 
of what she will do when he comes home a rich 
man, and he to the shop to buy some pigtail 

" It is very hard/^ repeats Mr. Dods. 

'^ It is very hard/-* answers Thyrza, looking at 
a monumental tablet gleaming white from among 
the headstones and mounds in the kirkyard ; 
" but there are many hard things in this life. 
There is no wonder there is a heaven in which 
the crooked places shall be made straight .^^ And 
she sighs, thinking how Ferrier and she, only a 
fortnight ago, walked over the very road she and 
her husband are now traversing, and the moon 
hung over the waters like a glory of fire. There 
is neither moon nor stars to-night, of which she 
is glad. Can it be only a fortnight ago ? It 
must be an eternity instead of fourteen short 
days. She feels again Ferrier^s kisses on her 
lips, as she sat in the garret with him on the 
floor among the dust and cobwebs and spiders 


and slatersj and the rain pattered and dripped 
over the old roof of Carmylie and the weather- 
worn eaves of the grim grey houses. She hears 
again Terrier's deep tender tones, whispering 
into her ear that he loved her. It was the hap- 
piest, the most delicious hour of her existence. 
It seems as though Fate had taken her at her 
word, and given her one brief unalloyed hour of 
perfect happiness for which she is to pay for the 
whole of her future. 

'^ Don't, Mr. Dcds," she exclaims, hotly, 
impetuously, pushing the minister from her, as 
under cover of the absence of idlers in the street 
and the gathering darkness, he ventures to steal 
his arm round her waist and to kiss her ; ^^ if 
you knew how I hate you when you kiss me you 
would not do it, I abhor kissing. I think it is 
a terrible invention. We can like each other 
quite as well without any demonstration of that 

The minister, pained and hurt by her repulse 
in the very depths of his soul, is silent. 

" Oh, I did not mean to be unkind," she cries, 
hastily, smitten with a sense of her injustice. 
Mr. Dods could not help Ferrier's defection. It 
was not his fault Ferrier broke off the engage- 
ment in so rude and abrupt a manner. It was 
her fault in some way. Her charms were too 


poor to retain his love ; but he had not taken 
long to tire of her ; he was soon wearied. " Mr. 
Dods, as you think so much about it, and it 
gives you pleasure/^ very shyly, and speaking 
very rapidly, '^ I will kiss you.^^ 

She put her arms about him, and standing on 
tiptoe, kisses his cheek. 

" Thank you,^^ he says, much as he had said 
'' Thank you^^ when he read " Yes" in the letters 
through which he had proposed, "but that was 
only a half one. Still a half kiss is better than 
none. I do think a great deal about it. It 
grieved me to hear you say you hated me. I 
hope, dear, it was an over statement?" 

" Mr. Dods ! Mr. Dods ! oh, look at the light- 
ning," she rejoins, clinging to him. " Is it 
going to be a storm ?" 

" I think it will." 

" What makes you think so V' 

" It has all the appearance of it." 

" Will it be a bad storm ?" 

" It is not improbable." 

" Very bad ?" 

" Wee-11, yes ; I should not be* surprised if it 
were very bad." 

" Oh, Mr. Dods, don''t go to the old woman 
to-night. We won^t go to Carmylie. Let us 
stay at the manse. I can sleep anywhere, any- 


how. I don^t mind. Tibbie will let me have a 
shakedown in the kitchen, and you can have 
the sofa in the dining-room. Til give you 
half a dozen kisses if you will, as you like 

*^* It is a very tempting bribe. Let me 
have them first, and then I will promise after- 

" No, no ; fair play. You must not take 
advantage of my fear. Why is it going to be a 
storm ?" 

" Owing to the pressure of electricity." 

" I don't care about the science. Mr. Dods, 
will you stay with me to-night ?" 

" The old woman has thought fit to be ill on a 
most inconvenient day, and the inconvenience 
may not stop here. If she dies she may want 
me to bury her, as her people were all buried by 
either my father or myself." 

"In this ku'kyard?" glancing across at the 
dim dark rows of irregular tombstones and 
mounds of divers lengths, dark and dim in the 
deepening twilight, while beyond lies the grey 
shadowy sea. 

" Yes, in this kirkyard." 

*^ Mr. Dods, you will stay with me ?" 

" I am coming to that, Thyrza dear. The 
point is, if she dies, and wishes me to conduct 


the funeral service, it will delay our journey 
west. I am beginning to think there was some- 
thing unlucky in not having my wedding coat. 
I Avill stay with you, but we must go to Car- 
mylie. The manse is not fit for you/^ 

" Then let us go at once, but it will be best 
for you to see the old woman. Should she die I 
should feel I had been very selfish in keeping 

'^ Perhaps you are right," says he, reluctantly, 
with a sense she is more self-denying than he 
could have wished her to be ; yet she has ex- 
pressed a desire that he should be with her, 
which is more encouraging than that shudder 
and shrinking away of the morning. 

" But she lives a long way up the glen, and 
you may be struck by the lightning." 

" Of that I am not afraid. The time of every 
one^s death, and of my death, is known to the 
Almighty. When that time comes I shall die, 
not before. If I am destined to be killed by 
lightning on or from my way to Joanna Rea^s 
cottage I shall be killed, and no human power 
can rescue me ; but if my hour is not yet come, 
then let the storm rage as it likes, it cannot hurt 

" Mr. Dods, I am frightened. If we were only 
at Carmylie !" 


" I never thought anything about a thunder- 
storm before/'' he rejoins^ with a smile, unseen 
by Thyrza in the darkness,, "excepting as an 
atmospheric phenomenon varying in severity 
from the amount of electricity contained in the 
clouds, but from henceforth I shall look back 
upon this thunderstorm as a peculiarly blessed 
one, the one to which I owe the unspeakable 
happiness of hearing you say you wish to be with 
me. We will go to Carmylie before the storm 
gets worse. I think it will be several hours 
before it reaches its full height.^* 

VOL. iir. 9 


OME hours have passed since Mr. Dods and 
Thyrza reached Carmylie House. Since 
then the minister has dined and is riding up the 
glen on his way to visit the sick woman, while 
Thyrza has gone tobedin the room she formerly oc- 
cupied, which contains the large antique wardrobe. 

Ferrier has not yet returned from his day's 
shooting, and Mrs. Ferrier sitting alone in his 
study is beginning to feel nervous on account of 
his prolonged absence. 

Jack's study has been used as Mrs. Ferrier's 
boudoir since Charity and the visitors quitted 
Carmylie. It is much snugger and more habi- 
table than the great dining and drawing-rooms. 
Although the evening is warm and even muggy 
there is a fire of wood and peat burning on the 
brass dogs. A fire is always more companion- 
able than the blank space of empty grate. The 
red cinders and yellow flames look cheerful and 


there is something pleasant in the sputtering of 
the resin in a fir branch, and the sing-song of 
the fire spirit droning away as the wood is con- 
sumed and reduced to grey charred ashes. 

As time goes on without bringing Ferrier, his 
mother grows still more nervous. A creepy 
feeling steals over her which she tries to shake 
off; but in vain. She endeavours to read and 
cannot fix her attention on the book or follow 
out two consecutive sentences. She sews a little, 
and takes a homoeopathic globule with some of 
which she has doctored Thyrza. She walks up 
and down the room, then sits down again. The 
least thing startles her. Her work falls on the 
ground, and she jumps up from her chair. The 
clock striking eleven with slow regularitv, like a 
heavy funeral knell, makes her almost scream 
and stop her ears. Beyond a kind of rumbling 
noise of thunder gradually approaching nearer 
and becoming louder and more frequent, and the 
tick, tick, tick, tick of the clock, the house is 
silent as the grave. 

Unable to work or read, Mrs. Ferrier stirs the 
fire and starts violently as a piece of peat slips 
lower down in the grate. Do what she will, she 
cannot prevent herself from thinking of all man- 
ner of horrible things. She recollects the ghost 
stories connected with Carmylie, and almost ex- 



pects to hear the swish . and rustle of the 
Green Lady^s gown or the tread of the old laird 
in the passage. She would go to the kitchen 
where Rattray and Cecilia are awaiting Jack^s 
arrival, but she dares not walk through the 
mazes of the long dark passages by herself, and 
there is no bell communicating from the study to 
the lower regions, Davie having destroyed it long 
agO; otherwise she would ring it to summon 

Then, a dreadful murder committed in Ireland 
in a lonely mountain district near the seacoast, 
not unlike Carmylie, occurs to her, with each 
revolting detail rendered more vivid by memory 
and her present state of nervousness. She recalls 
too, those strange footsteps she has heard so 
distinctly walking over her bedroom ceiling in 
the dead of the night for several days past. 
Why does not Jack come? What can have 
prevented him ? Is it possible that some acci- 
dent has happened ? And if so, what sort of 
accident ? He was never so long before in 
coming home. It is very unlike Ferrier^s usual 
conduct, too. He is invariably so thoughtful 
and considerate where the feelings and comfort 
of his mother are concerned, that something ex- 
ceedingly out of the way must have occurred. 

" Oh, mem, please, mem, what shall we do?" 


screams Cecilia, flinging the study door open 
abruptly with a violence which brings a large 
volume of smoke out of the grate, and bursting 
into the room head foremost. " There^s been a 
great big man in the kitchen. He maun hae 
come tae murder us all in our beds, and us sic 
decent respectable peaceable bodies that wadna 
hae harmed the heid o^ a flea, and the laird is no 
at home.^^ 

" A man V gasps Mrs. Ferrier, turning very 
white. ^' What was he like ?'' 

" The Lord only kens for I dinna,^^ replies 
Cecilia. " I was that frightened I couldna look 
at him.^^ 

" A man in the house !" says Ferrier, walking 
into the room, his gun in his hand, and the 
slouch hat on his head which has been his 
faithful companion in many a shooting expedi- 
tion abroad. He instantly takes ofl" his hat on 
seeing Mrs. Ferrier. 

" Oh, so you have come at last, Jack,^-' she cries, 
with as much delight in voice and face as 
though it were her lover, instead of her son. 

" I hope you have not been alarmed at my being 
so late. The truth is the four-wheel dogcart had 
a mishap coming down a brae, and the pole broke. 
"We had to go out of our way to get it mended. 
The blacksmith was the slowest fellow about his 


work that I ever saW; but after some bother^ he 
finislied it. You did not wait dinner for me ?" 

"No, because you told me you would see 
what you could have at the farmhouse." 

" What did I hear Cecilia say ? Something 
about a man being in the house T* 

"^ A great muckle man went through the 
kitchen this very meenit, when Rattray and I 
were sitting into the fire." 

'f Why did not Rattray turn him out ? This. 
comes of being away from home. Something is 
sure to happen." 

" I wadna let him/'' answers Cecilia. " He 
micht hae been hurt and then fat wad I hae 
dune, and me that distrackit aboot him yet, 
though we hae been married ten year come 
Yule, that when he gaed into Queensmuir tae 
work at the loom, I stood at the top o^ the lang 
brae and watched him ganging doon the water- 
side, and grat like a bairn when I couldna see 
him nae mair." 

" It is such an improbable thing that any one 
should think of robbing Carmylie. We are 
quite out of the reach of the swell mob." 

" Oh dear. Jack ! I wish you would look. There 
was a gang of gipsies in the village yesterday. Some 
of them came here to beg, and they may be hidden 
in some of the outhouses to steal the poultry." 


" Perhaps they are in the garret now/^ says 
Ferrier, laughing. "My dear mother^ rest assured 
no one would take the trouble of coming to 
pillage Carmylie.^^ 

^' I do not know that. This is such a lonely 
place^ and last week I heard the death-watch 
ticking in my bedroom^ not to speak of the 
footsteps I am certain were in the attic*' 

^^ There is no one in the house excepting our- 
selves, but if you like, I will look through the 
garret. It would be a splendid place for any 
amount of burglars to hide themselves in." 

Ferrier lights a small lantern used for the 
purpose of going down to the wine-cellar, and 
Cecilia calls Rattray from the kitchen. He 
appears armed with the poker and tongs, formi- 
dable weapons of warfare. Mrs. Ferrier refuses 
to be left in the study by herself, and taking 
Jack's arm, accompanies him up the narrow 
winding garret stair. 

Gow has delayed his meditated attack on 
Ferrier until he has collected as much silver as, 
sold at the pawnbroker's price, will pay his pas- 
sage to America, and supply him with money to 
keep him in comfort until he finds employment. 
To the shieling in the wood, near the peat moss, 
he has conveyed by degrees silver spoons, forks, 
silver salt-cellars, apostle-spoons, to the value of 


about twelve or fourteen pounds. These articles 
he has removed in the dusk of evening, and 
covered up in a corner of the shieling with moss 
and fir branches. He had returned from a 
journey of this description, when, to the horror 
of Cecilia and Rattray, he walked through the 
kitchen, and he now hears the sound of Terrier 
approaching the garret. As he is in the middle 
of enjoying the remains of a succulent venison 
pasty for his supper, he is not over pleased at 
being disturbed. But it is no part of his plan 
to encounter Ferrier hand to hand, nor when he 
can be assisted by the aid of Rattray ; so, as 
Ferrier enters the garret by the stairs, Gow 
crawls on his knees over the rafters to the trap- 
door, from thence down to the kitchen, scarcely 
able to forbear from a hearty laugh at the ex- 
pense of his baffled pursuers. 

He does not like the look of the night out- 
side, which is black as a wolfs throat, and taking 
off his boots — heavy, clumsy, nailed ones — he 
goes upstairs, and turns in at the first bedroom 
door which comes handy. This chances to be 
the room in which Thyrza is sleeping. The large 
wardrobe is on the left-hand side of the door 
which opens on the right, so that when the door 
is wide open, the wardrobe is behind it, and in 
great measure effectually screened by it. 


Ferrier^ having attached no importance to Mrs. 
Ferrier^s fears^ merely gives a cursory glance 
round the attic^ or else he might have seen a pie- 
dish^ containing the relics of some venison, a 
knife and fork, and a short cutty pipe filled with 
his best cavendish lying on the floor. The lantern 
only illuminates the immediate neighbourhood, its 
little puny light being lost in the darkness which 
conceals the underhung corners of the garret. A 
mouse scuttles across the bare boards, and is 
hidden among the gloom in the old boxes and 
chests. The spiders, from their cobwebs, much 
surprised at the sight of nocturnal visitors with 
a lantern, retire into the recesses of the wood- 

Ferrier walks from end to end of the place, 
that is, as far as the flooring extends ; and holding 
the lantern high up, flashes it hither and thither, 
to throw a light to the other side. The trap- 
door by which Gow descended to the secret stairs 
cut out of the thickness of the wall is unfastened, 
but Ferrier, knowing nothing of the plan of 
Carmylie beyond that the tunnel over which the 
house is built, w^here the Jacobites had taken 
refuge, makes a good wine-cellar, does not think 
there is anything peculiar in this fact. 

" There is no one here, mother,^^ he says. " I 
did not expect to find any one either ! Your 


eyes must have deceived you, Cecilia. You 
and Rattray, sitting opposite to each other by 
the kitchen fire, fell asleep and dreamed a dream ! 
Was not that it ?' 

" As sure as daith, and gin it were the last 
•word I ever spake, and it^s telling the truth I 
am and no lees, Rattray and I baith saw a 

^' I don^t wonder you were astonished,'''' re- 
turns Terrier, ^' to see a man in this uninhabited 
district is to see a novelty. Perhaps it was the 
ghost of the old laird, the one you know who 
cut his throat up here ; and if you look very 
carefully you may still see the marks of the 
blood on the floor. Don^t you think this is it, 
Cecilia ?" 

" How can you joke on such a subject, Jack ?" 
reproaches Mrs. Terrier. 

'' I believe you are disappointed, mother, that 
there is no burglar. Come out of that V' he 
shouts, and the dark vaulted, low, overhanging 
pent-house roof echoes back a gurgling answer, 
at which Mrs. Ferrier shrieks. 

'' There is nothing, mother. The place has a 
fusty smell, a smell of cobwebs. Oh, what a 
whopper of a spider ! I should say that chap 
was a great, great, great grandfather. Shall we 
so down ?" 


" Yes, I think we will." 

'' You are still incredulous/^ says Terrier, 
" but with a little trouble you can imagine any- 
thing. I assure you that you can. This is the 
very house, too, for conjuring up spirits. I once 
knew a fellow who could fancy he saw scores of 
ghosts. But it was owing to his bad digestion." 

" What do you think the man was like, 
Rattray P"*^ asks Mrs. Terrier, as they go down 
the corkscrew stairs again. 

" Aweel, it is my opinion he resembled Gow ; 
however, there is nae doot he is oot o' the hoose, 
for deil a man or woman either is there in the 

^' Now, mother, you had better go to bed. 
You are as pale as death. You worked yourself 
up to a pitch of nervous excitement with being 
alone, and the darkness, and my non-return. 
To-morrow you will laugh at your nervousness. 
I daresay the electricity has something to do 
with it." 

" Probably it has," she admits, smiling ; ^' Rat- 
tray, shut the garret door." 

Rattray closes it with a bang, which bang 
Gow hears, and chuckles to himself. He has 
got into the wardrobe and drawn the doors to, 
just enough to give him plenty of air. Should 
any one come to disturb him he is ready for 


them. A desperate man with a good sharp 
knife, well- tempered, and well- sharpened, is a 
match for Ferrier and an old fellow like Rattray, 
and Gow is resolved not to go back to prison 
fare and prison discipline at Middleby without 
having a fair fight for it first. 

" Jack, don-'t go to bed yet,^"* pleads Mrs. 
Ferrier, " here is a brandy-and-soda, and your 
pipe, and a good fire for you/^ 

" Well, to please you, I will sit up as long as 
I can keep awake, upon the express condition 
that you do not stay here another instant. But 
what with the hill air, and the heat of that fire, 
and my own bodily fatigue with so many miles 
walking on the heather, I feel ready to drop 
asleep on my feet.^'' 

" Shall I leave you Wasp V^ 

" No, take the little beggar to your room ; 
he will only howl when you have gone.^' 

" I wadna say but that the hail (whole) affair 
was naething but a hallucination of Sawten^s,"" 
observes Cecilia, who dearly loves a fine word 
when she can drag it into conversation, and she 
retreats from the study to give Mrs. Ferrier 
some help in retiring to rest. 


HEN Mrs. Terrier has left Jack alone, he 
goes to his study window to watch the 
storm which has been hanging about all day, and 
now bursts in fury upon Carmylie and the sur- 
rounding district. 

It is a wonderful sight. The heavens are at 
play. Every minute flashes of lightning dart 
from one cloud to another and scud along the 
sky, appearing to assume in their transit the 
forms of serpentine curves of fire and luminous 
meteors. Each flash lights up the strath, the 
fastnesses of the mountain passes, the pike pools 
at the Loch, the quaggy earth and cuttings in 
the peat moss, the foam of the breakers on the 
sand-bar, and the depths of the pine-woods. A 
crash of thunder. Then all is darkness. The 
wind parts the clouds for an instant. The stars 
shone through the opening, and the trunk of the 
pine-trees glimmer like grim teeth on the pale 


horizon^ and the next moment the lightning 
blazes out and the blackness of night seeming 
as though it could be touched;, falls like a funeral 

Had Ferrier's eyes been sufficiently large and 
strong enough for the purpose^ he could have 
seen at every illumination the tints on the 
wings of the terrified birds crouched under the 
tree branches for protection ; every separate dead 
heather blossom; the varieties of scarlet and 
orange- coloured toadstools ; the gradations of 
shape in the golden and russet-withered beech 
leaves; the rounded billows of clouds in the 
firmament ; the red tiles on the kirk roof ; the 
moulding of the stones at the manse ; the epi- 
taphs on the graves; the divisions between the 
planks of the boats lying high and dry on the 
yellow sands — for all these minutise are ren- 
dered instantaneously clear and vivid by the 
dazzling reflection of the lightning. 

After watching until he is almost blinded, 
Terrier turns away and^ goii^g to the fireside, 
seats himself in a large crimson morocco arm- 
chair. He lights a cigar ;, partakes of a brandy- 
and-soda, and selecting a comfortable footstool 
on which to rest his feet, despite the tremendous 
peals of thunder and sundry strug£,les with his 
sleepiness, he finally succumbs to his weariness, 


combined with the warmth of the fire, and sinks 
into a profound sleep. 

It is between one and two o^'clock in the 

Thyrza has been roused once or twice by the 
ever-growing-nearer rolling noise of the thunder. 
At the pension she has been accustomed to 
peculiar scrapings and rushings of feet from the 
rats. She is familiar with creakings from the 
old doors which swung gratingly to and fro on 
their hinges and indescribable squeaks, and 
rustles,, and patterings, invariably set down by 
Miss Holt to contrary draughts in the chimneys. 
Being very drowsy she does not disturb herself 
when Gow comes into the room, or even when 
he gets into the wardrobe. But by-and-by, the 
thunder becomes too deafeningly loud for her to 
sleep again. At first she tries hard to shut out 
the lightning and thunder by burying her head 
underneath the bedclothes, and stopping her 
ears with her fingers. Finding it stiflingly hot 
this sultry night, she endeavours once more to 
court back the fickle dame — sleep. She tosses 
restlessly from side to side, shakes up the pillow, 
changes her position, repeats prayers and quan- 
tities of poetry, goes over the multiplication- 
table, all without being able to recall the ca- 
pricious goddess. She resigns herself to circum- 


stances and lies awake^ counting the flashes and 
wondering how the minister got up the glen to 
the sick woman's house. She has been thus 
employed some time, when a peculiar sound as of 
a person fumbling and fidgeting with the door 
handle,, intending to enter quietly, makes- her sit 
bolt upright in bed and say — 

" Who is there ?" 

No reply coming in answer to her question, 
she fancies she must have been mistaken, and 
lies down again to resume her former occupa- 
tion. The odd click or fumbling being repeated, 
causes her to call again — 

'' Who is there 7" 

The wind suddenly sinks ; there is a great, an 
awful calm. Then the room, the pictures on the 
walls, the carved wardrobe, the mirror, the 
toilette table, the two straight narrow windows, 
are as one sheet of flame, being lit up by blue 
jagged flashes of lightning, followed simul- 
taneously, with no space for breathing between, 
by terrific claps of thunder rattling like the 
discharge of millions of artillery, reverberating, 
echoing from mountain to mountain, sinking in 
angry hoarse murmurs among the gorges and 
ravines with muttered growls of defiance. 

In the brief gleam of lurid light, Thyrza per- 
ceives the wardrobe doors are thrown widely 
open, and standing on the threshold is a man 


whose face^ marked with the small-pox^ she vaguely 
recognises as belonging to the poacher Gow^ whom 
Terrier captured in the Chapelton wood. She 
tries to look again; but the darkness is blank, 
utterly impenetrable — a thick gloom that can 
almost be seen and felt. 

Thyrza lies trembling with terror, and dares 
not move either hand or foot. She is too 
frightened to scream, and her tongue seems 
frozen to the roof of her mouth. Another vivid 
flash, apparently dancing round her pillow in 
yellow jets, allows her to see that the man, who- 
ever he was, has gone. But where has he gone ? 
Has he come to rob the house or to murder 
some one ? And who can the some one be ? Is it 
possible the some one can be Ferrier ? This idea 
is no sooner presented to her mind than she rises 
and gropes about for some clothing although her 
limbs tremble and shake under her. 

She does not stop to think or to reflect what 
to do, or how she will do it. She only knows 
whatever happens to herself and whatever it 
may cost her, Terrier must be warned. Such 
women as Thyrza never do stop to reflect. It 
would be better for them if they did. Acting 
by intuition and impulse is pleasanter in theory 
than in practice, especially in the consequences 
that sometimes ensue. 

VOL. III. 10 


Thyrza has divined Gow's intentions in a 
moment. A shudder passes over her as she 
recalls the malignant expression in the poacher's 
eyes, and she is in an agony of apprehension 
while feeling for her dressing-gown lest she 
should stumble up against him, as for aught she 
knows or is able to see, he may be still concealed 
somewhere in the room. 

She throws on several petticoats, and without 
waiting to search for slippers, moves out into the 
passage with her bare feet. She is compelled to 
feel her way, an occasional flash only breaking 
the profound darkness, and serving to guide her 
steps along the corridor. 

As yet no rain has fallen, and between the 
thunderclaps there is a stillness like that of 

Thyrza steers her course in the direction of 
Ferrier^s room. She goes as if blindfolded, and 
is distracted by the notion that even before she 
gets to Terrier, Gow may have attacked him and 
her aid be useless. She is very cold and shivers, 
her feet being chilly from their contact with the 
smooth oak floor. 

A light strikes ruddy and warm upon the 
lintel of a door half unclosed. 

Thyrza has mistaken her way, and this is 
Ferrier^s study. 


" Monsieur/^ she says, " Monsieur, waken/' 
Ferrier, being sound asleep, does not answer 
He is lying in a half-recumbent position in the 
depths of the arm-chair. The crimson morocco 
shows off to full advantage the massive head set 
on a well proportioned throat ; the thick crop of 
iron-grey locks, the rugged bronzed features, the 
long eyelashes casting a shade on his dark 
cheek, and his muscular sinewy frame. The 
firelight flickers, sending little gleams on the 
blue hangings of the room, the oak fittings, the 
tawny tiger skin, on Ferrier's shooting suit of 
striped heathery brown velvet, of a peculiarly 
strong material made for him in China after his 
adventure on the hills there among the under- 
scrub. He is not a handsome man, he has no 
particular gifts or talents, he is not very reli- 
gious, from simply never having thought about 
religion ; his virtues are those of the old heathens 
of Greece and Rome, honour regulating his ac- 
tions and life ; yet such as he is, good and bad 
mixed together, with aspirations after what is 
noblest and highest, with inclinations often 
leading him downwards, as they will lead men 
possessed of deep and violent passions, to Thyrza 
he constitutes her souFs delight. 

^^ Monsieur," she says again, venturing to 
shake his arm. 



This time he moves a little, but he is still 
heavy with sleep, and he only gives a sort of 

" Monsieur ! waken, waken quickly V^ she 
cries, passing her hand over his face as the surest 
means of waking him. 

*' What the — why the — who is here ?" he ex- 
claims, opening his eyes, scarcely able to credit 
his senses in seeing a woman bending over him, 
and recognising Thyrza from the musical tones of 
her voice. 

" It is I — Thyrza,^^ she goes on rapidly, he 
looking very intently all the while at her, and 
thinking he surely could not have known how 
pretty she is. He thinks he has never seen her 
prettier than now in her dressing-jacket and the 
petticoat of her " costume," her bare feet like 
two pearls peeping from beneath her dress, her 
hair knotted loosely round her head in one big 
untidy twist, and her eyes bright and soft. 
" Monsieur, Gow is here. I saw him in one of 
those flashes of lightning standing at my bed- 
room door. He had a knife in his hand, and I 
do think that he came to kill you/' 

" And mademoiselle took the trouble of coming 
to warn me. When I consider all things I am 
at a loss to understand your care for me. How 


did you get to Carmylie ? Are you not married 
to ?' 

" Hush ! I hear Gow coming !" exclaims 
Thyrza, and blowing out the lamp she drags 
Terrier into the passage just in time to avoid 
Gow. He tramples past them into the study, 
Terrier and Thyrza holding their very breaths as 
he passes. Unconsciously Terrier places his boot 
on Thyrza^s unslippered foot, but although it 
causes her excruciating pain, she neither flinches 
nor gives a single groan. They listen to Gow 
moving within the study ; the fire burning in the 
grate, the lamp still smoking, and Terrier's pipe 
yet lit and smouldering, show that the room has 
been very lately tenanted. A smothered oath of 
disappointment escapes from the lips of Gow. 

" The bird is flown V he says aloud to himself, 
taking an intense satisfaction in breaking to 
atoms a choice meerschaum Terrier has been 
years in colouring. Were not Thyrza with him 
Terrier could not restrain himself from rushing 
at Gow and knocking him down, but as she is 
he considers it his duty to provide for her safety 
first. There may be other men in the house 
besides Gow, and it makes Terrier's blood curdle 
when he thinks that the unprotected girl has run 
the peril of walking along the passages in the 


dark to warn him of Ms danger^ while Gow 
■was wandering about, so he retreats some steps 
further away from the study. Thyrza is quiver- 
ing with excitement, and scarcely feels the pain 
of her bruised foot. 

" Go up the narrow stairs/"* she whispers, " and 
take off your boots. Wait for me there. I shall 
be back with Rattray in five minutes, and Cecilia 
will rouse Mr. Burnet at Carmylie Mains. No 
person can be asleep during this deafening 

She detaches herself from Ferrier and has 
gone down the stone stairs leading to the lower 
regions of the kitchen, &c., before he has time to 

Ferrier goes up the tortuous steps communi- 
cating with the most ancient part of the house. 
In former days it had been defended by one man 
against a tremendous odds. He only yielded 
when his sword arm was so weary it could no 
longer wield the blade, and the stairs were 
dripping with blood. 

Gow has been to the dining-room and lights 
a taper lying on the mantelpiece. He rolls the 
punch-bowl and a silver claret jug in his hand- 
kerchief. His removal of his spoil has been 
gradual in order to excite no suspicion by a large 
quantity of plate being missing at once The 


sideboard being unlocked now the family is at 
home, he drinks three or four wineglasses of 
raw brandy, one after another. He is not 
exactly drunk, but has just had enough liquor to 
rouse the latent fiend in him, inflame his innate 
brutality, and make him dangerous. His little 
eyes twinkle ominously as he feels the sharp 
blade of the thin mischievous-looking knife he 
abstracted from his cottage on the night after 
his escape from Middleby. He is aware that he 
could go out with his booty in perfect safety, 
but sheer bravado and the fiery liquor he has so 
recently imbibed cause him to swagger through 
the upper passages instead of the lower ones. 
Turning round a corner of the corridor sharply 
to the narrow stairs he knocks up against Terrier, 
and attacking him from behind brings him to 
the ground with a blow from the iron cleek 
which supplies the loss of his left hand. The 
sudden shock and violence of the stroke almost 
stun Ferrier and deprive him of power to move 
for the moment, Gow stretches his colossal 
bulk on his chest so that it is impossible for Jack 
to rise, and he is overmatched and helpless as 
a mummy in its swathing bandages. 

" Let go, you scoundrel V exclaims Ferrier, 
when his senses clear themselves a little, and he 
makes an ineffectual effort to free himself by 


wrestling with all his strength against Gow^ who 
endeavours to grasp him by the throat with his 
cleek. Terrier manages to hit him a blow 
between the eyes_, making him see a considerable 
number of stars^ and then the two men roll over 
and over_, their limbs linked one within the other. 
It is no mere struggle for the mastery of a prize, 
or the supremacy of bone, muscle, or sinew, it is 
a contest which to one will end in either death 
or life. Gow^s blood and passions are alike 
boiling and maddened by the brandy and by his 
infuriated lust for blood, the thirst to take life 
sometimes kindled in men of his surly temper 
and disposition when excited by revenge. He 
has the advantage over Ferrier in being the 
aggressor, and having in the first instance got 
him under him. Ferrier feels he cannot hold out 
much longer, he must give in sooner or later. 
He grows faint and weak, and makes another 
desperate attempt, but Gow foils him by pinning 
his throat to the ground with his cleek, which he 
can now use as adroitly as though it were a 

Ferrier^s moments seem numbered. Life is 
very sweet when its sands are being shaken out 
and his days are drawing to an end as a tale 
that is told ; very sweet to him, even though he is 
burdened and hampered by the fetters of debts : 


very sweet to him even though deserted by the 
girl whom he had worshipped as the incarnatiou 
of womanly perfection ; life is very sweet to him 
when it is going to end by the knife of a low 
blackguard who will slay him as a butcher slays 
a sheep. 

" Don^t cut my throaty it makes a fellow look 
so bad afterwards," he says at last, seeing Gow 
produce the thin sharp knife from the leg of his 

If he must die he will die hard. He sets his 
teeth tightly together as he did when a lad at 
school, and wrestles with all his remaining 
strength. But he is exhausted by his struggles 
and his head swims round from the effect of the 
blow which felled him to the ground. He can 
hardly breathe ; a deadly sickness overpowers 
him ; his senses forsake him, and his eyes grow 
dim. He ceases to wrestle and lies as if dead at 
the complete and absolute mercy of the poacher. 

" D n you !" rejoins Gow through his 

teeth, with the nearest approach to respect he 
has ever yet felt for human being, " Til do for 
you though I have to swing for it." 

He raises his hand to strike. At that very 
instant there comes a fearful flash of lightning, 
and close on its heels such an awful peal of 
thunder that the very heavens seem to open and 


shut with its violence^ and the foundations of the 
house totter and shake. 

Gow has paused^ not because of the thunder, 
but because of his cleek which, still fixed on 
Ferrier's throat, is in his way. He removes it 
and is bringing down the knife with terrible 
force when Thyrza, finding it hopeless to bestir 
Rattray and Cecilia, flies up the stairs, and 
bounding along to Ferrier, throws her arms 
round his neck just in time to turn aside the 
blade, so that the blow, instead of injuring 
any one, spends its force in the thin air. 
The light of the taper flaring and burning 
where Gow let it fall, throws her pale face 
and slight figure into strong relief against 
the darkness of the passage and ceiling, the 
great shoulders and small-pox-marked visage of 
Gow, and the resolute features of Ferrier. 

Gow rises, thinking Thyrza is the harbinger of 
further aid or she would not have dared to come 
alone. He picks up his bundle of silver and 
makes off" out of the house through the wild 
dashing torrents of rain, now beginning to fall 
like an Indian tornado, towards the shieling 
in the Chapelton wood, whence he will go to 

Thyrza has sunk down on the stone steps 
when the danger was over, shaking and trembling 


in every limb of her body. lu the excitement 
she has been forgetful of everything but the 
necessity of rescuing Ferrier, and she is^ constitu- 
tionally, neither brave nor strong-minded^ conse- 
quently the reaction is all the greater_, the strain 
on her nerves having been intense. 

'' My darling, my darling V cries Ferrier_, 
a few minutes afterwards, staggering slowly to 
his feet. " Thank God, you are safe ! You have 
saved me from the worst kind of sore throat, 
but you might have been killed. I am not 
worthy that you should lose a single hair of 
your head for my sake.''^ 

" I thought of nothing but your safety. 
What I did I should most likely have done for 
any one else under similar circumstances.'''' 

Then, wholly overcome by an irresistible im- 
pulse of the moment, she says in a soft, low 
tone, " After all, I had but one life to give you, 
and it seemed worth dying for, if only once more 
to hear you call me darling.^^ 


ERRIER^ living at some distance from 
Queensmuir, has not heard any par- 
ticulars of the fact of the marriage,, to which he 
was not invited through the influence of his 
sister Mrs. Napier ; the consequence is that on 
seeing Thyrza again^ and being ignorant of the 
minister's new arrangements, he has not a 
shadow of a doubt but that she has broken off 
her engagement with him and returned to per- 
form her former duties as governess at Carmylie. 

They are seated on the stone steps near the 
scene of Gow's attack. Thyrza is unable to 
move from sheer exhaustion. 

'^ Then you loved me all the time/' exclaims 
Terrier, passionately, and clasping her in his 

For a moment she suffers herself to rest in 
his arms ; for a moment she yields to the 
storm of his kisses ; only for a moment though, 


and then Terrier remembering that she never 
liked this kind of thing, lets her go, on her 
intimating she wishes to be free. 

" Yes, I loved you all the time.^' Then, leaning 
her head against the wall of the narrow staircase 
of rough, red, unpolished sandstone, unpainted and 
uncarpeted,she continues, "You knew that I loved 
you, knew it without my telling you ; but I have 
often wondered during the last fortnight how, 
after sending me such a message by Mrs. Napier 
as you did send on that Sunday evening, you 
can still expect me to be on the same terms as 
we were before — before our, I cannot call it an 
engagement, as it did not endure beyond a few 

" Message, what message ?'^ 

" The message you sent me by Mrs. Napier.^^ 

" I sent no message." 

" Yes, you sent me a message by Mrs. Napier, 
a message which made me long to have been a 
man that I could have avenged myself.^' 

" What was it ?'' 

" I will never tell you, monsieur. You sent it, 
and you ought to know it without my repeating 
it. Besides, you have no right to ask me." 

" I have a right to ask you," he says, catching 
hold of her hands, " I have every right to ask 
you, the right of your love and of my love, our 


mutual loves. I will know if we stay here until 
these stones fall upon us. Whatever it was, you 
believed it and condemned me unheard and 
without a trial. The most guilty criminal has a 
trial. You did not even grant me that." 
" I cannot look you in the face and say it." 

''^Oh, if that is all it is soon settled/"' he 
replies, blowing out the small taper lighted by 
Gow which is burning still on the steps. '' We 
are in the dark now, you and I, Thyrza, my 
darling, do not be afraid to tell me. Have you 
forgotten that you promised me to be faithful 
even though the whole world swore against me ?" 

" I cannot tell you," she answers. " Yes, I 
promised you ; but the promise is broken. You 
broke the promise ; you were tired of me ; so 
Mrs. Napier said." 

^^ Think you are speaking to some one else, 
that will give you courage." 

^^ You sent a message to me to say you wished 
the engagement to end, and that I was a bold, 
forward girl. That was the gist of the message." 

" Did Charity tell you that ? It is impossible, 
she is so fond of you, and never loses an oppor- 
tunity of praising you to me." 

" Fond of me ! oh yes, she is fond of me !" 
repeats Thyrza. " Was there any wonder that I 
was angry and tried to hate you ?" 


^^ Good lieaveus ! You forward !" he exclaims. 
'^ But you might have knowii_, darling, that no 
fellow calling himself a man would have sent a 
message like that. You might have guessed 
that I would not have done such a thing. Why 
did not you ask me about it?^^ 

^^ How could I ask you when you had said 
you did not want me ?" she rejoins^ sadly. 
'^ Mrs. Napier would not let me go to you as I 
wished. She said it was not proper^ for you 
were smoking with the other men.-" 

^^I could wring Charity's neck for her/^ says 
he^ vindictively. 

^^ Now^ you know how it all happened, and you 
can understand how indignant I was with you. I 
thought you had not been long in getting bored." 

'' But it has all come right again/^ he answers, 
in the accents of tenderness which went straight 
to her heart in the garret on that wet Sunday 
afternoon. " It is for me to sue for forgiveness 
from you, and you will forgive me^ as you know 
I was innocent. If you have suffered, so have I j 
but we must make the happiness of the future 
compensate for the misery of the past, and by 
Jove, I will have it out with Charity." 

^' It can never come right," says she, with a 
long low, sobbing cry ; and though Terrier can- 
not see her in the sombre darkness he knows her 


tears are falling fast. " Oh_, if I had but known 
a little — only a little sooner that it was a lie you 
did not love me.'^ 

" It can, it shall, it will come right/^ he 
replies, feeling in the gloom for her that he may 
draw her to him, " it has come right.-" 

" It cannot/'' she returns^ " for Mr. Dods and 
I were married at the Bank this morning.^' 

" Married !" he cries, " good God ! Then we 
are separated for ever, and just as my hopes 
were raised again they are dashed to the ground ! 
Oh, Thyrza, whatever possessed you to marry 
the minister V 

" I followed your advice. I was poor and I 
did the best for myself in marrying the first man 
— no, the second — who asked me, and I wanted 
to show you that I did not care for you.^-* 

" You have shown me that with a vengeance.^' 

" Yet God has been very good to me.^' 

'' Good? You have odd notions of goodness.^^ 

'' Yes, God has been good in letting me know 
you still love me." 

" Yes, very good in letting us know how 
happy we might have been together, when it is 
exactly too late." 

" Oh, monsieur, monsieur, let me be with you 

" My darling, I have no claim over you now. 


You are anotlier man's wife/' lie says^ recollect- 
ing himself witli an effort, as lie comprehends 
that this girl with her warmth and depth of 
feeling is devoted heart and soul to him, and 
that it lies with him to make or mar her future. 
Hers is the sort of disposition that under kind 
and genial treatment turns out splendid charac- 
ters, generous, open, candid, but under coldness 
and severity, on the contrary, becomes hard, 
obdurate, and calculating, " what can I do ? 
Sweet one, do not cry. You are only a little 
girl yet, and you will outlive your affection 
for me, and by-and-by you will wonder how 
you ever could have liked that surly grumpy 

"I never shall," she sobs, and a soft little 
hand steals into his, " I shall never forget you, 
nor love any one but you/' 

"My darling, you must listen to me. The 
chances are that you have had a happy escape. 
I am not nearly so nice as you call it, as you 
think me ; for my part, I don't believe the 
monsieur you like exists, excepting in your head. 
The Jack Terrier whose life you have saved so 
nobly, and who does not know how he can ever 
repay you for it, is a nasty tempered man, not 
much good to himself or anybody else. Mr. 
Dods is better off than I am. He has a house 

VOL. III. 11 


and position to give you^ and I — what liave I to 
offer in comparison V 

" I donH want Mr. Dods^ I don^'t care for 
the house. What is the use of being com- 
fortable when I have not got you ?" 

'^ Ah, if you^d had me you might have wished 
to change your mind. Little darling, don^t fret, 
promise me that you will not. Do you know that 
I had rather see you, as you are, the wife of Mr. 
Dods, happily settled in a snug home of your own, 
than I would see you my wife, sharing all my 
worries and bothers, and losing your youth and 
bloom while I could not provide you with those 
comforts and luxuries you require, and felt that 
it was my fault for bringing you into it. A man 
can weather anything, but a woman cannot. 
Knocking about soon tells on her. Do you see, 

" No, I see nothing but that we might have 
been happy, and are not.^^ 

" Do you really wish to make me miserable V 
he asks, changing his tactics. 

" No, no, a thousand times no.^^ 

'^ Because if you do, you will fret and pine 
yourself to death ; but if you want me to be 
reconciled to the hard lines Fate has dealt us 
you will try to be happy. ^' 

^' I cannot be happy without you/^ she cries. 


" You are not the only one that suffers, 
Thyrza/^ enclosing her hand in his own broad 
palm as he speaks. " It breaks my heart to hear 
you cry, especially when it is all owing to my 
sister that this has happened. However,, even 
had things gone as we hoped, it must have been 
a continual fight to make both ends meet. We 
must face the realities, and these realities will 
come easier to you when you have money to pave 
the rough places with. I have still my way to 
work, and I shall be better able to do it 
single-handed than as a married man. I thank 
heaven you have got a kind husband in Mr. 

" I donH thank heaven at all, not at all,^^ she 
replies with a great sob, brushing away her 
tears, " I am sure I could have helped you. I 
did with the big books, now, did I not ? But I 
suppose we must live our lives, I wish mine was 

^^ Ah, you are young. That is why you think 
of death as the cure for your first trouble," 
placing his arm round her waist, '' I hope it is 
your last one, as well as your first. I shall 
never think of another, darling, as I have 
thought of you. IVe always told you I did 
not know what love could be until I knew 




^^ I shall never be tappy again/^ she says. 

'^ Little darling, I trust you will be very 
happy. Why should your pure bright life be 
saddened ? Won^t you give me a farewell kiss ? 
I think even Mr. Dods would allow me to have 
one as the last out of the plenteous riches which 
have fallen to his lot, if he knew how cruelly 
we have both been deceived.^^ 

He draws her close to him, his lips meet hers 
in one long kiss, and Thyrza, remembering her 
light clothing and bare feet, leaves him alone on 
the stone stairs. 


AM sorry to have missed the minister and 
his wife/^ says Mark. " I called on pur- 
pose to inquire after Thyrza^s healthy or rather, 
the health of Mrs. Dods.'' 

^^They left for Queensmuir about an hour 
ago/' replies Mrs. Terrier ; ^' but I am sure they 
will regret not having seen you,^' 

" Don't you care to hear how the marriage 
went off? I gave the bride away as she had no 
father, and as I did so 1 could not help thinking 
that you are forbidden to marry your grandfather, 
and vice versa. 

" "Weddings are all much the same ; cake, 
ring, white gown, man and woman, people cry- 
ing, and a lot of rubbish talked," rejoins Ferrier. 
" What a storm we had last night ! Did you 
have it at Lillieshill ?" 

" Slightly ; Aunt Fan and the maid- servants 
were in fits, or would have been had not 


Uncle Kichard been at Lome. His invariable 
prescription for tbat is cold water. Some one 
went into hysterics at the Bank yesterday, and 
he nearly drowned the poor old lady. Fortu- 
nately every one knows his peculiarities, or I 
was afraid the Hislops might not altogether have 
relished it, as she is a relation of theirs. What 
damage has the storm done about here V^ 

" A great many trees were struck by the 
lightning, a number of sheep and cattle killed, 
and a haystack at C army lie Mains was set on 
fire and burnt to ashes.^^ 

^' And you had a visitor in the night too. 
Jack, by way of keeping you lively .^^ 

'^ Yes, a visitor who has gone off with half the 
silver spoons and the poor old governor's punch- 
bowl, and the large claret-jug. There is no 
doubt that Gow was the thief; he has been 
living in the garret for a number of days.'^ 

" Clever rascal V' says Mark, laughing as 
people do laugh on hearing of some well-planned 
deception or successful burglary not practised on 
themselves, " Mrs. Ferrier, I am the humble 
bearer of a missive from Aunt Fan, inviting you 
to go to Lillieshill for the next week. Jack has 
promised for a long time to come over for the 
partridges, and they are in first-rate condition, 
simply crying to be shot. DonH say hut ; it is^ 


begging your pardon, tlie most beastly word in 
the English language, and ought to be abolished 
by law/^ 

" It depends on Rattray/'' answers Mrs. Ter- 
rier. ^^ If the horses are not required for carting 
of turnips or potatoes, or something, and if it is 
not Rattray^s day for the post, there is a pos- 
sibility of going to Lillieshill. Unless it is to 
go to church in Queensmuir, I always find it 
difficult to convince Rattray the horses are meant 
for other things besides farm work/^ 

" I think we may say it is settled then ; for I 
met Rattray in the avenue with his hands in his 
pockets sauntering along and he informed me 
^ there was no muckle tae do/ I have persuaded 
Mrs. Ferrier to come, and now. Jack, I want 
you to go up the Witches Law with me.^^ 

'^ Some time or other.'^ 

" I mean to-day .^^ 

" You are mad^ Luke." 

"1 am as sane as you are, and very likely 
much saner. I have long wanted to get a sketch 
of a bird's-eye view from the top. On a clear 
day you can see fifteen counties and the smoke 
of Edinburgh.-'' 

^^ What a poetical soul you must have to be 
willing to climb through miles of wet heather to 
see the smoke of Edinburgh ! If you want 


smoke, there is plenty rising from tlie fisliing- 

'^ What a provoking fellow you are, Jack ; 
always going on about common-sense/^ 

'^ I ask any candid and disinterested observer 
if the day is clear. The fifteen counties will 
remain hopelessly shrouded in haze.^^ 

" Oh, you know you are not an artist, and 
you don^t understand that a day like this, with 
shifting clouds and sunshine, is the very one on 
which to get a good effect. It is of no use paint- 
ing when there is one great glare of sun and no 

" Then there is your easel and your painting 
apparatus to be dragged up three miles of 
soaking wet heather. I shall be getting face- 
ache, Luke, and as to you, your beauty will be 
spoiled for ever, by having a face swelled like a 
Dutch cheese." 

^^ Waterproof boots — long ones — and plenty 
of whisky,-*^ is Mark''s laconic reply. 

" We shall be caught in the mist, Luke, and 
it^s on the cards that in such a case we should 
never get down from the Law.^"* 

" I have got a charming little easel and a box 
of paints ; no trouble to any one,^^ proceeds 
Mark. "We can ride to the foot, climb up^ 


have some grub at tlie top^ and get back to 
Lillieshill in time for dinner/^ 

" The weather looks very queer and unsettled, 
and I am not humbugging about the mist/^ 

" I have been up the Matterhorn and some of 
the biggest mountains in America, and do you 
think I am afraid of a little mole-hill like the 
Witches Law ? I shall go by myself then, 
Jack,^"* with the identical argument with which 
he has often in their dead-and-gone schoolboy 
days led Terrier into many a scrape and hair- 
breadth adventure. 

'' No, that you shan't. I will come with you. 
But this is different. Up those other places you 
had guides who knew every inch of the ground. 
I have been only over it once before myself.'^ 

" Don't come if you don't like," says Mark, 
pretending to have taken offence. " Mrs. Terrier 
must think I want you to go to the North Pole, 
or to some equally inaccessible place." 

After some further discussion, Terrier, in spite 
of sundry misgivings, consents to the expedition. 
He sees Mrs. Terrier off for Lillieshill in the 
great family coach, and then Mark and he start 
for the Witches Law. 

Behind the steading and deserted farm-build- 
ings of Carmylie, there is some rising ground 


crowned by a plantation of pine-trees mixed on 
the outskirts witli larches. Through this wood 
a cart-track to the Witches Law winds on to a 
bleak moor. At the confines^ or northern ex- 
tremity of the moor the ground dips down sud- 
denly into a deep valley, almost a ravine, scarcely 
half a quarter of a mile in breadth. From this 
gorge the Witches Law, a large spur of the 
Glencairn Mountains, nearly four thousand feet 
in height, rises towering above the little glen, 
affording secure protection to a farmhouse built 
at the west side from the piercing north winds 
of winter. It consists of three peaks, and 
measures no less than five miles from the first 
peak to the last, owing to the hollows and undu- 
lations of its heathery slopes. Only one of 
these peaks is sharp and pointed, the two others 
are round and smooth. The pointed peak is the 
highest, commanding the best view, and it is to 
this one that Mark and Terrier are directing 
their steps. From a freak of nature, or perhaps 
being the remains of the Flood — on this geolo- 
gists are not agreed — a small loch has been 
placed beneath the highest peak of the Witches 
Law. By the common people it is called the 
Witches Loch, and many of them believe that 
on New Year's Eve the witches ride on broom- 
sticks over its turbid waters. On three sides 


the loch is guarded by precipitous cliffs, on the 
fourth the shore is strewn with boulders and 
broken fragments of stone. The loch has been 
celebrated from time immemorial for a rare kind 
of trout, dark on the skin and speckled with 
bright red spots. Tbey are, however, very shy 
and bite best about eleven o^clock at night. 
The minister, being a skilful angler, has often 
spent a summer^s night at the "Witches Loch, 
and returned home to the manse with a well 
filled basket. 

Mark and Terrier dismount at the farmhouse, 
and ask leave to put their horses in the stable 

^' Ye will no be ganging up the Law the 
day ?" says the farmer^s wife. 

" Oh yes," returns Mark, ^^ to see the 

" Ye shouldna bide lang," continues the 
woman, " it^s gae late i^ the day for ganging up, 
and it's no vera canny in the gloaming." 

" We shall not stay loDg," answers Mark, and 
he hastened to meet Ferrier, rejoiced that the 
occupation of stabling the horses has prevented 
him from hearing the woman's words. 

"Well, Luke, do you still intend going?" 
asks Ferrier. 

" The day seems very propitious, so I think 


we will. There may not be such a day^for the 
light and shade again this autumn.^'' 

The two men accordingly commence the ascent 
of the hill_, and are soon knee deep in the long 
heather, covered with draggled wet spiders' webs. 
They slip now and again into a little mountain 
burn, which finds its way down from the loch ; 
sometimes they stumble over a prickly whinze- 
bush, or knock up against a boulder stone. A 
grouse rises beneath their feet, and they pause 
to draw breath at the top of one ridge, while 
above them hangs the scarped edge of another 
heathery eminence. 

" I wish I had a gun/' says Terrier, '^ that 
bird is a fine shot. He knows he is safe, listen 
to his audacious crow." 

" The best shots always come when one has 
nothing to shoot with, just as Sunday is often a 
better day for fishing than week days. What 
do you think ?" 

" If I were at the top of the Law I would 
tell you. You don't catch me here again in a 

" Sit down and rest, and have a little whisky.'' 

" Oh no ; I'll go on until we reach the 

" The efi'ects may have faded if we do not 
push on." 


" I don^t bargain to stay long when we are 
up^ Luke/^ 

"^ You shall go down whenever you like/^ 

The first part of the ascent is successfully 
accomplished^ and the climbing is comparatively 
easy. As they go higher they pass several 
flocks of sheep^ and two or three shepherd boys 
knitting stockings and tending their flocks at 
one and the same time. The scene becomes 
wilder_, more desolate, more bleak. The ground 
is only clad with short scanty grass, the long 
bushy heather is left behind, and the red earth 
ploughed and furrowed by the thunder-rain, 
appears in strips among the withering vegeta- 
tion. The climbing hitherto presenting no diffi- 
culty, is more arduous as they approach the 
rocks surrounding the Witches Loch, and the 
hill begins to narrow towards the pointed peak. 

" Deep hole that," observes Mark. '' I should 
not like to fall in there. ^^ 

'^ The people say it is as deep as the Law is 


^' In that case there would not be much pros- 
pect of getting out again.^^ 

" I suppose we are high enough now."*^ 
" Oh, we will go right up to the top of the 
peak, as we have come so far. I am not going 
to be done out of my fifteen counties." 


'^ I hope you will see them/' says Ferrier. 
" What rocks those are ! You would get an 
ugly fall." 

" Ahj now, Jack ; was it not worth while 
climbing to see this !" exclaims Mark, pulling 
out his tin box coutaining his paints and brushes, 
and seating himself on a cairn of stones raised 
on the summit of the Law by the sappers and 
miners, when measuring the country. 

The landscape lies spread out like a panorama 
before them for many miles — -sea, wood, and 
mountains. The day is cloudy. There is little 
sunshine, and that little falls chiefly on the sea ; 
and the coast on the other side of the bay of 
Carmylie, beyond the sand-bar with its long green 
links, not much to look at but a perfect paradise 
to the enthusiastic golf players of Middleby. 
The bay is dotted with the white sails of boats, 
the masts of ships, and the funnels of steamers. 
On the w^ater all is brightness ; there is a heavy 
swell on the mackerel-coloured waves. But the 
mountains are dark and stormy, rich russet- 
brown and deep purple against a grey sky over 
which clouds are rapidly forming, and as rapidly 
dispersing ; so that there is an alternate glow of 
light streaking the hills with faint greens, and 
pinks, and blues, fading out of the tints into 
sober brown and purple. 


" It is not bad/' says Ferrier, lighting a 
pipe and unfastening a packet of sandwiches. 
" Where is the whisky^ Luke ? Have you got 
all your traps with you ? I should not be sur- 
prised if you had left the most important of 
your painting fads behind^ and that you can't 
paint after we have climbed all this distance. 
Never call the Law a molehill again \" 

'' You have no eye for scenery/' rejoins 
Mark, beginning to sketch in one of the transient 

'^ I have when my mind is at ease ; but I 
can't look at bits of light and shade when I am 
so awfully worried as 1 have been lately; and 
I expect I shall be worse before I am better." 

" How are things going ?" asks Mark. 

" Hang it if I have not left the medium at 
home, and the oils won't work without it/' 

^' Come, I call that good." 

*^'The landscape is never the same for two 
minutes together," pursues Mark, sitting down on 
a flat piece of stone and resting his back against 
the cairn. " So I could not have painted it even if 
I had had the medium. But about your affairs. 
Jack. How do matters stand?" 

" As far as I can make out, the debts amount, 
without lawyers' expenses — they always run up 
a few hundreds for themselves — to nearly thirty 


thousand pounds,, to meet which I have got 
about fifteen thousand. If the property had not 
been gone long ago^ I could have raised the 
amount on it.^^ 

" Fifteen thousand pounds is a very large 

" It is a very large sum.'' 

" And how goes the business in Shanghai ?" 

*' Lennox says, ^rej shirtings, 8^ lbs. tls. 
1*97; Cotton, 8 J tls. Silk, limited ; business 
and exchange on London, 6/.' Things are not 
so flourishing as they were ten years ago," 
answers Ferrier, reading from a letter. 

^' There must always be fluctuations in every 
trade," returns Mark, thoughtfully. " On the 
whole, that is very moderate. "Why don't you 
marry. Jack? Each of the MacNab girls will 
have twenty thousand pounds." 

" Don't feel inclined. Besides, she would 
refuse me. And old MacNab told me her 
money would be strictly tied up. I should not 
be able to touch a penny of it." 

^^ There are ways and means by which the 
money could be raised." 

" Yes, I know there are ; but they did not 
suit me." 

^^ Suppose that I lent you the money. You 
could repay me by instalments. The interest on 


fifteen thousand pounds would come pretty heavy 
on you, as you would have Mrs. Terrier to look 
after and your business to carry on. I shan't 
ofifer you again. Jack. You need have no 
scruples with me. We have surely knoAvn each 
other long enough not to stand upon ceremony. 
I don't think that you will make a better bargain 
of it. Is there any whisky left in your flask ? 
"Why, it is the one I had in China. What fun 
you and I had together. I often think I 
should like to go back again to the old free-and- 
easy life. It was a long way better than the 
formalities of this country.'' 

" There is only a drop ; if you had spoken 
sooner you should have had more. I hardly 
know what to say about your offer, Luke. 
I did not think you were in earnest before." 

" Accept it, to be sure. Of course I was in 
earnest, as much in earnest as I am now. I say^, 
look at that lamb, how tame it is !" as a black 
faced lamb scrambles up the steep declivity and 
fearlessly eats out of Mark's hand the broken 
scraps of bread crumbled down from Terrier's 

All of a sudden a cloud overshadows the moun- 
tain-top, and the peak of the Witches Law 
is enveloped in mist. At the same time a puff" 
of wind catches Mark's easel and blows it away. 

VOL. III. 12 


He jumps up hastily from liis seat,, and^ witli an 
exclamation of " By Jove ! how dark it is V' 
forgetting the dangerous position in which he is 
on the cliffs above the Witches Loch, runs 
after it. 

Terrier pursues him, shouting to him to stop, 
and he fancies he hears him cry, ^' Save me. 
Jack, save me." However he cannot tell for 
certain, and he himself goes slipping, sliding 
along, the mist encircling him round like a 
shroud, until reaching some hard substance, he 
clutches hold of it, but there is neither trace, nor 
sound, nor vestige of Mark. 

'' Luke, Luke V he shouts. " For God's sake 
answer. Where are you ?" 

The mist chokes his breath and blinds his 
eyes, and sends his voice, dulled and deadened, 
back upon him. How long he has lain there he 
does cot know; when the mist parts, a light 
breaking gradually through it, becoming stronger, 
shows Terrier that he is lying a few inches 
from a precipice on the west side of the loch. 
Down below is the black, still, rippleless water ; 
the naked rocks splashed with burnt umber 
weather-stains, and pale green moss, over which 
a hawk flies on its road to its eyrie in a crag 
where the foot of man has never set its profane 


A little below the precipice over which Terrier 
is looking, is a lower rock_, a sort of table -rock. It 
projects some distance into the water, and is ap- 
proachable with safety further down the incline of 
the hill. On this rock Ferrier thinks he perceives 
a lump of light grey, resembling the light coloured 
summer clothes worn by Mark. He is forced 
to exercise a good deal of caution in case of 
losing his own footing, but he hurries down 
as fast as he can. He is not a moment too 
soon, for as he reach6s the rock the mist again 
settles, having only cleared up for a few minutes. 
The light grey lump is Mark, as he supposed, 
but whether dead or alive Terrier is unable at 
once to tell. So far as he can see, there is not 
a bruise about him. He has evidently fallen 
from a height, but he may be only insensible 
from the mere act of falling, and not from in- 
juries received from the force of the fall. 

" Luke, dear old fellow. Luke, Luke,^' he 

But Mark lies in a heavy stupor and no 
answer comes from the parted lips, and no smile 
kindles in the blue eyes that, despite his treachery, 
have always looked kindly on Jack Ferrier. 
Great gasping breaths begin to lift his chest 
after awhile, and sometimes a spasm of pain 
convulses his fair^ frank, countenance, otherwise 



he is very still, while Terrier, who has loved his 
friend with a loyal true love '' passing the love 
of women/^ sits silently by his side, counting 
with tranquil fingers but aching heart, the slow 
pulses of the fast ebbing life. Ferrier lifts the 
curly head on his knee, wraps Mark in his own 
coat and waistcoat to keep him from the cold, 
and endeavours to screw a few drops of whisky 
from the flasks ; but in vain, there is not a drop 
left in either of them. The mist grows denser 
and thicker. Ferrier durst not move, and he 
waits patiently through the long hours of the 
evening and the night until he is chilled to the 
bone and weary with the weight of Mark resting 
against him. But he prefers any amount of 
fatigue to the risk of Mark feeling cold from 
contact with the damp heather and grass on the 

He weighs the chances of any one going to 
look for them from the farmhouse, as they had 
not returned to claim the horses, and decides 
that the chances are few. The people would 
hardly venture up the hill in the face of danger 
and the teeth of a fog thick as peasoup, so he 
relinquishes that idea as hopeless. 

Towards midnight the mist rolls off from the 
Witches Law. Mountain peak after mountain 
peak, seamed by age and crested with heather. 


appears grand and solemn,, while in the glen the 
fog still rests^ veiling sea and valley in its soft 
white folds. The fresh, pnre^ intensely clear air 
blows upon Terrier from the hill-top. He feels 
as though face to face with his Creator, spirit to 
spirit, soul to soul, among the solitudes of the 
quiet mountains ; not a vestige of earth visible 
but the weird peaks rising from the sea of mist, 
and the tremulous breath of the wind sobbing 
over the upland heath. Just above the grey 
crags of the Witches Loch the stars begin to 
shine and twinkle one by one in the dark blue 

" Jack,'^ says Mark, looking into Terrier's 
face, " it's all up.'^ 

" WTiereabouts are you hurt ?" ask s Jack. 
" Let me lay you on the heather, and I will go to 
the farmhouse for something to carry you down 
the hill on.'' 

" I never thought it would come to this,'' 
pursues Mark, '' don't leave me. I should not 
like to be left here." 

" No, I won't, Luke." 

'^ I am going very fast, it's my back. I think 
it must be broken. Did I not fall ?" 

" Yes, in the mist." 

" I recollect now ; Jack, I must tell you 
while I have my senses, and I had rather that I 


told you myself, than tliat you should hear it from 
somebody else. IVe been an awfully bad fellow 
to you. It was I who took Lilith from you^ and 
you remember that licking your father gave you 
at Blackbeck House. I ought to have had it 
for '' 

" It^s all over years upon years ago/^ inter- 
rupts Terrier with exceeding gentleness,, ^^ Lilith 
was a real bad one, and I was well quit of her, 
and as to the flogging, it did me good. Don''t 
tire yourself with talking. Couldn't you wait 
here while I get some one to help you to a 
house T 

" Don^t leave me/^ begs Mark, imploringly, 
'^ look — in — my — desk — at — Lillieshill and you^il 
find all that need be about Lilith.^-' 

His strength ebbs swiftly away, his eyes can 
scarce distinguish Ferrier^s face in the pale light 
of the stars ; his breath waxes faint and low. 

^' Jack,"*^ he says, just as the moon shows her 
crescent over the jagged ridges of the western 
cliffs, " shake hands.^^ 

Terrier extends his muscular hand, and grasps 
Mark^s, slight and white as a woman^s, in it. A 
great convulsion takes possession of his whole 
frame, ^^ Lilith, Lilith,^'' he murmurs, and ^^ bab- 
bling^' over and over again the name of the 
woman for whom he had been willing to sell 


soul and honour^ his breath quivers and dies. 
When after a long silence Terrier raises himself to 
chafe the stiffening hand yet clasped in his own, 
now growing cold, he finds that Luke Mark is 

By-and-by the day dawns, little streaks of 
pink deepen into crimson, and spread along the 
east, widening into broad bands over the blue 
hazy line of coast; the sea shines, boats 'stud 
the horizon, and the mist floats away in fantastic 
wreaths. Ferrier gently places Luke in a little 
heathery hollow, and goes down the hill through 
the stillness of the early morning, before the sun 
has risen, to the farmhouse. Peace and tran- 
quillity are on the mountains, sublime in their 
unspeakable majesty of rocky crowns and craggy 
heights. Calmness is on the brown tracts of 
moorland, from which the purple glow has faded, 
and the unmoved waters of the Witches Loch. 
The timid sheep are hardly awake enough yet 
to begin their morning meal, and the sulky, 
long-horned shaggy Highland cattle are still 
sleeping close together, under the shelter of a 
lone Galloway dike, which separates the lands 
of one laird from those of another, '^ marching'' 
together. The curlews, diflScult to distinguish 
from the grey granite stones, strewing the hill- 
sides, will soon be roused sufficiently to devour 


the " early worm/^ and some grouse go to drink 
at a little russet heatlier-fringed pool^ where a 
coot is already before them^ paddling over the 
peat-tiDged waters. No smoke comes from the 
farmhouse or the bothie attached to it, and 
Ferrier is some time before he can succeed in 
awakening the inmates. The farmer and several 
of the ploughmen volunteer to assist him, and 
with ropes and a long ladder, they climb the 
hill where Terrier has left Mark. He has 
evidently not moved since Terrier went away. 
Jack has hoped against hope, that in spite of his 
inward convictions, and all evidence to the con- 
trary, Mark will yet live. But all hope, and all 
doubt alike Vanish on seeing the motionless 
figure. Yet were it not for the unutterable re- 
pose of the body, one would have thought he had 
merely fallen asleep after being very tired. 
There is nothing dreadful about the handsome 
finely chiselled features, the fair hair tumbled in 
a wave over his brow, as it had a trick of doing, 
and the neat slim figure in its light summer 
clothes — Mark was always a good deal of a dandy 
in his way. The lamb, which to feed had 
been the last action of his life, stands close to 
his head, cropping the grass among a little 
colony of bluebells and fading spires of fox- 
gloves. Terrier recognises it as being the same. 


from a peculiar brand he had noticed on its 

" He has worn awa^^ sir/^ says the farmer, 
addressing himself to Ferrier, when he has 
applied the polished case of his watch to Mark^s 
lips and found no breath comes to dim its 
surface. " You maun hae had a cauld nicht 
of it/^ touching the coat and waistcoat in which 
Mark is still wrapped. 

" How will ye be tae taV him doon '^" asks 
one of the men. 

They lift Mark on to the ladder and begin 
tying him on with the ropes when Terrier 
interferes, bidding them to desist. 

" You are too rough with him/'' he says, ^' and 
Luke could never bear to be roughly handled. ^^ 

Then he fastens the ropes himself as softly 
and carefully as though Mark could still feel, 
and two of the men bearing one end of the 
ladder and two more the other end, they go 
slowly down the hill with their sad burden in 
the morning sunlight, which a few hours before 
he had ascended in such vigour of life and 


FTER Mark's funeral Mr. and Miss 
Lefroy request Terrier to undertake 
the task of arranging all his papers and manu- 
scripts, a task for which the poor old broken- 
hearted brother and sister find themselves totally 
unfitted, and one which they desire to be finished 
as soon as may be, Luke's wife sending in her 
claims upon his fortune immediately on hearing 
of his death. 

As Terrier dockets the letters and correspon- 
dence on many subjects, business and otherwise, 
he can scarcely realize that Mark is really dead. 
He catches himself half a dozen times at least, 
in the act of turning round in his chair, expecting 
to hear the familiar cheery voice exclaiming, 
" Well, Jack. What are you about to-day T' 
and more than once or twice he looks out at the 
diamond-paned casement window over which the 
ivy-leaves and ivy-twigs twined in luxuriant 


profusion, as though they loved to ornament and 
decorate the red walls of the house, to see 
whether Mark is not coming up the broad gravel 
sweep by the smooth shaven lawn. It is very 
difficult to believe that Mark is not merely 
delayed by some accident, or that he is not out 
shooting, or has not gone out on a sketching 
expedition from which he must return by-and- 
by. With the lowered rays of the October 
sunshine slanting into the painting-room upon 
the objects the dead man had lovedj his guns 
and fishing rods, his bits of draperies for his 
figures, his uncompleted sketches, his easel, his 
palette with some colours still mixed which 
he had intended to wash ofi" on his return from 
the Law, all the trifles in fact which served to 
show that admiration for the beautiful and plea- 
sant things of life which formed so conspicuous 
a part in Mark's character, it seems strange 
that the owner is lying cold and rigid and 
silent in Queensmuir kirkyard, a hidden and 
vanished thing for all time. Nothing has been 
touched in the room. All is in exactly the same 
order in which Mark left it, even to his black- 
and-gold smoking cap, and a box of prime 
Cabanas on a table near his desk. 

Of course everybody had something to say 
concerning the wife he had kept sedulously 


concealed for ten years^ and of course everbody 
said their say. It affords a lively topic of conver- 
sation at all the morning calls in Queensmuir for 
several days after Lilith^s existence becomes 
known to the world at large, and the county 
who constitute the Lefroys' world pity the 
Lillieshill people, and wonder how Mr. Lefroy 
took it, and if the disconsolate widow would come 
to Scotland. On the whole, after the first 
outburst of grief for the nephew in whom all 
his hopes, his pride and his plans were centred, 
Mr. Lefroy takes it quietly enough. He eats 
his dinner much as usual. Mark's loss does 
not interfere with his enjoying his prime sherry, 
or from inspecting his cattle with his ordinary 
interest. These accidents will happen. People 
must die. What is the use of bewailing and 
mourning for ever ? Can it bring them back 
again ? Has one not a duty towards oneself, and 
if that supremely important duty is not properly 
performed, we ourselves have to suffer for it. 
Mr. Lefroy's sorrow finds vent in composing some 
verses of poetry entitled " In Memoriam,^'' to 
Mark's memory, which appeared in several of 
the local newspapers. 

This done, he designed a monument for 
Mark's grave, and then he liad a clause inserted 
in his will^ strictly entailing his precious China 


treasures^ the old books^ his model cow-house, 
&c. So that the next owner when he comes into 
Lillieshill will not be able to part with a stick 
or stone upon the place. But although Mr. 
Lefroy contrived to console himself without 
much difficulty, it is very diflPerent with Miss 
Lefroy. Slow to love, and when loving, taking 
root deeply, poor Miss Lefroy changed so 
much in appearance after the day that Mark 
was brought home dead to Lillieshill, that 
Terrier when he comes to arrange his friend's 
papers about ten days after the fatal accident, 
scarcely recognises her. 

In the way of arrangement there is little to 
do among Mark's letters. His artistic propen- 
sities did not interfere with his very methodical 
habits, so the documents relating to business mat- 
ters are found, as might be expected,neatly tied up 
and placed in pigeon-holes; in fact he could almost 
have laid his hands in the dark upon any he might 
have required. Among these there is no paper re- 
lating to Lilith, but in a desk Terrier finds a few 
short letters written since Mark^s return from 
China, and all signed " Your affectionate wife, 
Lilith.'''' Most of them contain requests for 
money. They are ill spelt and worse written, 
and in certain phrases betray the coarse illiterate 
mind of the woman who had written them^ and 


whose fascination and beauty had spell-bound 
both Terrier and Mark, and although one of 
them has shaken oflP her bonds, still the other re- 
mained bound, while both have retained traces of 
those bonds through the whole of their lives. Be- 
sides Lilith^s letters which showed that the ruling 
passion of her youth was yet strong in her, there 
is a half- finished one from Mark addressed to 

" Dear Jack, — Since I saw you the other day I 
have been thinking over what you told me about 
your affairs. Not long after I came home from 
China I made my will. Mr. Hislop, in Qucens- 
muir, drew it up, and it is lodged in his hands. I 
do not suppose that I shall die any the sooner for 
having made it. I mention this to you because I 
have left you sixteen thousand pounds in it, and it 
seems a pity that when you are in such want of 
the money you should be obliged to wait for it 
until I am dead, which, I trust, will not be for 
years. I think, therefore, you had better let me 
give it you at once, and have done with your 
troubles. It may not be enough, but at any rate 
it will go a good way towards stopping the mouths 
of your creditors. Now don^t be nasty about it. 
If you should be nasty, why not accept it as a 
loan ? but when you have had this letter I shall 
come to Carmylie and talk it over with you. 


While I am upon this subject I may as well tell 
you the reason why I did not fall in love with 
little Thyrza. You recollect asking me about 
her the other day. Well, you can^'t very well be 
in love with two people at once, at least I can^t, 
and the truth is I am married,, and my wife is 
Lilith, of whom you were so fond in the old days 
at Shanghai. I should have told you years ago, 
only you had no suspicion that it was I who had 
acted the part of David and stolen from you your 
Bathsheba, and I could not bear that you should 
think me dishonourable. The night before your 
wedding that was to have been, but which never 
came off, you had just been to see Lilith when I 
went into the little cobbled courtyard of her 
house. The moon was shining very brightly. 
The feast of lanterns had been lately held in her 
honour, so she was bound to shine decently, and 
out of that little window behind which Chinese 
women gratify their curiosity Lilith was leaning. 
Whether she had dressed herself to receive you 
or not I do not know, but she had on a low- 
necked gown of silver woven silk tissue, and that 
beautiful warm-tinted mass of yellow hair of hers 
was streaming in ripples, such as a painter would 
have luxuriated in painting, over her soft white 
throat and shoulders. 

" ' Is that you, Luke T she said, with a little 


laugh. We had got the length of calliug each 
other by our Christian names long before, and I 
came nearer and kissed her. She was not angry 
with me, or if she was she concealed it very well. 

" ' I shall see a good deal of you when you are 
married, as we shall live in the same house up 
the Yang-t^se-Kiang/ she continued. 

" ' I wish you were going to be my wife 
instead of Ferrier^s/ 1 answered. 

" ' Why did not you say so before ? You are 
far better off than he. Are not you the heir to 
a nice property in Scotland T 

" ' To be sure I am.^ 

" ^ Then why don^t you ask me to marry 
you V said she. ' I daresay of the two I like 
the boy Jack Terrier best. He has got such a 
lot of pluck and such a temper. I like a bad- 
tempered man ; they are better fun. But you 
have plenty of money. I believe you are afraid 
to ask me. You dare not do it.^ 

"You knew Lilith in the flesh. When I have 
said that I have said all. You can imagine 
without my relating it how she tempted me, and 
what she could be when she put forth all her 
powers; and perhaps it should be taken into 
consideration that I was only twenty-three, and 
that I was dazzled by her beauty and her jewels. 
Young men think little of a woman unless she 


has plenty of rustling silks and two or three gold 
chains^ and heaps of rings and earrings; nose 
jewels too, if they were fashionable, would not 
be objected to ; Lilith had plenty of ornaments 
and plenty of dash ; there was no mistake about 
her. I knew all the time that she was thoroughly 
mercenary, and valued me only in proportion to 
my gifts of trinkets and dresses. I knew what 
sort of a mind she had, for she was at no pains 
to conceal it. Yet still I loved the woman 
then, and I love her now. I could not explain 
why if I tried. Well, she had laid down her chal- 
lenge, and I — why, I was a man and she was a 
lovely woman, so I took it up. 

*^ ' ril come with you to-night,'' she went on. 

" We settled to go that very night to San 
Francisco. I sat on the steps of the quaint 
doorway drumming on the cobbles of the court- 
yard while she changed her gown. A steamer 
bound for Lima, with chemicals and spice, was 
in port, and Lilith, wrapped up and thickly veiled, 
followed me through the pathways — there were 
only paths then, as there was no traffic, excepting 
by Coolies — to the harbour. I offered a hand- 
some sum to the commander of the vessel to take 
us on board, and a saloon and cabin were assigned 
to us. And then came the difficulty about being 
married. The captain solved that. He read the 

VOL. III. 13 


service for us,, but, unfortunately^ as lie was tlie 
only person present besides ourselves, we had no 
record of the ceremony ; the ring was one of 
mine, with a solitaire diamond, the stone of which 
we turned inside in order to complete its simili- 
tude to the real article as far as was possible. 

" On going on board we had not had time to 
observe what the crew were like, but the next 
day we had abundance of opportunity for judging 
of them. A more villanous set of scamps and 
blackguards I never saw. There were a couple 
of Lascars, splendid fellows as to height, who 
could have felled an ox with a blow of their fists. 
Scarcely the half of the men were Chinese, the 
greater proportion being half breed Spanish 
Mexicans, and an awful bad lot they were. I 
did not like the look of things at all. The 
captain was an American, a Southerner, who had 
got into tribulation with both the Federals and 
Confederates by playing into the hands of both 
parties, and he very nearly swung for it. How- 
ever, he ran the blockade at Charleston with a 
tidy steamer, made for the open sea, and with 
about a couple of hundred pounds in his pocket, 
began trading between Lima and the ports there- 
abouts and Shanghai. Had it not been for 
his unfortunate habit of not being able to 
keep faith if he could turn a little more money. 


lie would not have been a bad sort of cliap. The 
first day was well enough. I happen to have 
some idea of navigation, and towards evening 
I remarked to the captain we were out of our 
reckoning. Lilith and I went into our cabin 
and played cards with a horrible old pack she 
washed in a bottle of eau de Cologne before we 
could use them. We had not been there very 
long before there was the sound of a scrimmage 
on deck, and, going iip^ we discovered the crew 
had put the captain in irons, scuttled the ship, 
and were getting off into the boats as fast as 
they could. 

" Lilith^s entreaties joined to mine had no effect 
on them, and the men rowed away, leaving us 
on the sinking vessel. The captain was stowed 
away in the hold, and pieces of planking were 
nailed across the entrance. I wrenched them 
off with a crowbar and helped him out, and then 
we constructed a raft, and launched it, Lilith 
looking after our money and her jewels. We 
were just out of the vessel in time, for we had 
scarcely rowed off a couple of hundred yards 
when the ship heeled over. Most ships shiver 
before they go down, but she did not, she simply 
heeled right over, and down she sank fathoms 

" We were afraid lest a typhoon should get up, 



or one of those sudden partial squalls peculiar to 
the Chinese seas ; however^ nothing happened, 
and about the middle of the next day we were 
picked up by a junk, which put us ashore after 
a slow voyage, on the island of Formosa. 

" There I took a house, and for three months 
Lilith and I lived in paradise. You may say it 
was an earthly paradise. I do not deny it, still 
to me it was a paradise. Nothing was wanting 
to complete my felicity. The only thing that 
worried me was that I had deceived you, and you 
were my friend. We had been in Formosa about 
three months, when I saw a tall, handsome dark 
man wandering about among the cinnamon 
groves. I had seen him before in Shanghai, 
and knew him by sight, though I had not spoken 
to him. His name was Dawson. If I deceived 
you I was myself in turn deceived, for within 
two days of this man^s appearance in Formosa 
Lilith was gone. I was unable to trace them, 
and until my return from China I heard no 
news of her. Thyrza had not been long at 
Lillieshill before I had a letter from Lilith 
asking for money. And now. Jack, I have told 
you all this because I intend ■'•' 

Here the letter ends. Ferrier^s first reflec- 
tion on reading it is, what bad luck has pursued 
iiim. The obstacle which has all along stood 


between Mm and Thyrza is removed, and lie is 
again a comparatively well-to-do man. But a 
worse obstacle than the former, want of money^ 
is now between him and the girl whom he loves 
and covets, an abyss yawns between them which 
death alone can bridge over. If she could only 
have delayed her marriage with the minister for 
ten days longer ! 


HE end of December has almost come, and 
there is very little of the year left to run 
its course. The bride and bridegroom have had 
an extremely pleasant trip to Arran and the 
west coast of Scotland,, where the minister has 
many friends. Thyrza has also been at High 
E-iggs, at which place both parties made so 
favourable an impression on the minds of old 
Mr. and Mrs. Rutherfurd, that they actually 
promised to pay the minister and his wife a visit 
at the manse in the course of the following 
summer ; they also expressed their intention of 
giving the bride the portion her father ought to 
have received. 

Mr. Dods showed his knowledge of the world 
when he told Thyrza she would find visiting her 
rich relations a very different affair from visiting 
them as a poor, penniless spinster. For Mr» 


Dods was by no means a needy man. There is 
a great deal also in appearances. The minister 
was not a man to be despised. His tout ensemble 
was well up to the mark^, and altogether in good 
form. People do not care to have scrubby, 
mean-lookingj impecunious relatives to visit 
them, more especially if they are addicted to 
button-holding you at every turn, calling you 
by your Christian name, suggesting alterations 
in your house, interfering with your servants, 
and disordering the proprieties of your dinner 
table. Mr. and Mrs. Rutherfurd were not above 
the weaknesses of our mortal nature. Their grand- 
child, it was evident, had not disgraced them in 
the eyes of their friends by marrying a butcher, 
or baker, or candlestick-maker. Her husband 
was a credit to her, a man of a solid, steady, 
upright character, well known for his anti- 
quarian researches, respectably connected, and 
tolerably well off for a minister. So Mr. and 
Mrs. Rutherfurd took her to their bosom, and 
forgave the sin of her father in marrying the 
woman of his choice ; and Mr. Dods, seeing with 
his bodily eyes the glories of High Riggs, could 
not help, to a certain extent, taking a more 
exalted view of his dearly beloved little wife. 
A nice girl — no matter how nice she may be — 
becomes decidedly nicer when unexpectedly 


improved by a handsome toclier and brilliant 

The excitement consequent on the marriage 
and wedding tour has cooled down. The bride 
and bridegroom are at the manse^ now in ex- 
cellent order ; Thyrza has sat in state and duly- 
received all her visitors. She has also been to 
kirkj quietly dressed in a snufF-coloured gown, 
and bonnet to match^ and has safely gone 
through the severe trial of being stared at by 
the congregation as she sat alone in the manse- 
pew^ till she would have given anything for a 
hole to creep into and hide herself from notice. 
On that Sunday the kirk was filled to over- 
flowing. Folks who were always ready enough 
with some paltry excuse when taken to task by the 
minister for their neglect of Sabbath duties^ had no 
difficulty in attending on that day. ^' Rheums" 
and convenient '^ sair heids" were alike forgotten ; 
even the want of proper '' claes" was not con- 
sidered. There were more " bawbees" and brass 
buttons collected at the door on that day than 
was known to have been the case since Mr. Dods 
was inducted as parish minister. 

The bride and bridegroom have^ of course,, 
returned the calls. She has been duly intro- 
duced to all the sheep of every description — 
poor and thiu^ as well as rich and fat — and her 


husband has driven lier in the gig drawn by the 
stumpy, bottle-brush-maned pony, to visit every 
farmhouse and cottage in the glen. This she 
enjoyed more than making calls in the town ; 
for driving is a treat to her, and she finds the 
remarks of the country people far more interest- 
ing and amusing, from their real native humour 
and shrewdness, thau those of Mr. Dods's town 
cousins and friends. 

They have now been at home about tvro 
months, and Thyrza has fairly settled down into 
the regular routine of her daily duties as the 
wife of the minister of Carmylie. 

There is not a large amount of parochial 
work, as the village, and the glen beyond it, are 
so healthy that few die under seventy years of 
age, the pure, bracing air being quite an antidote 
to all epidemics and fevers. The people them- 
selves are all of them by no means badly off ; 
the earnings of the fishermen of course depend 
on the success of the herring-boats, and those of 
the dwellers in the glen on the harvest. The 
poverty, such as it is, cannot be called squalid ; 
even in the worst seasons there is not that 
wretched, abject misery which prevails in the 
crowded courts and alleys of a large manu- 
facturing town like Middleby. 

Thyrza attends as regularly as she can the 


services of her own church, but this does- not 
hinder her having grand ideas of improving the 
style of singing in her husband^s kirk; she 
would, if possible, start a Sabbath-school. Both 
these plans, however, fall through on account of 
the lateness of the season, and the distance the 
scholars would have to come across the moors 
on the winter afternoons. She is disappointed, 
and Mr. Dods consoles her by advising her to 
wait until the long, light evenings of spring 
set in. 

Thyrza begins to find life at the manse very 
dull and monotonous. Ever since she could 
thread a needle, she has been accustomed to 
work in some way or another. At the pension 
she had plenty to do even during the holidays ; 
when Miss Holt left her to the tender mercies of 
the old Frenchwoman, that lady took care to 
provide her with employment in the shape of 
mending the house linen, and failing sheets and 
pillow-cases, there was always an abundance of 
old music, the leaves of which she used to stitch 

Now she has but little to occupy her time. 
In the morning she attends to her housekeeping, 
and then, if the weather be fine, she takes a walk,, 
generally alone. Mr. Dods is wholly engrossed 
by an important work on the Pictish Antiquities 


and other ancient remains near Carmylie, and as 
his ideas and theories,, once scattered, are not 
easily again collected, Thyrza does not like to 
disturb him. 

Yes, in spite of her good fortune in securing 
so substantial a matrimonial prize as Mr. Dods, 
in spite of furnishing her drawing-room as she 
likes, in spite of having as much pocket-money 
as she cares to spend, in spite of being adored by 
her husband as it does not fall to the lot of 
every woman to be adored, Thyrza is very dull, 
exceedingly dull. And the worst of it is that she 
feels duller every day. There is nothing for her 
to do, and she has a strong consciousness that 
she could work if there were anything for her to 
work at. She longs to go into the Avorld, to 
take part in the battle of life, just as she looked 
out from the pension windows at the peasants 
in their ^^j fete dresses, and longed to be out 
among the busy crowd. Whereas, in truth, did 
she but know it, she is already engaged in the 
great contest. Her battle is with herself. 

It is an existence of utter stagnation and quiet- 
ness, which even a middle-aged woman possessed of 
many resources within herself, who had been ac- 
customed to society, would probably have found 
dull. How much more, then, a young lively girl 
like Thyrza, whom nature has endowed with an 


intense capacity for enjoyment. She says her 
prayers very earnest] y^, entreating that God will 
make her love her husband and let her forget 
Ferrier. As yet her prayers have met with no 
answer. Perhaps she has not asked aright or 
with enough faith. 

To-day the restless feeling is unusually strong 
upon her^ because she has had a long soli- 
tary morning and afternoon. Mr. Dods has 
gone to Middleby, and so little does he compre- 
hend the varying moods and disposition of his 
girl-wifcj that to amuse and keep her from 
'*" wearying^^ while his great work on the '' Anti- 
quities of Carmylie^'' is being composed^ he in- 
tends driving out Cousin Jemima with him to 
the manse. 

A tea-dinner with the best china and the best 
linen tablecloth is prepared for the travellers in 
the dining-room or parlour. Thyrza has been 
in several times to see whether the blinds are 
drawn down and the fire burning brightly, and 
that all is as it should be, remembering that it 
will have to undergo the scrutiny of Cousin 
Jemima; and as she arranges a plate of scones 
placed unhandily on the table, she cannot help 
thinking how she would have enjoyed getting 
everything ready and pretty for Terrier^ s return 
from his business. 


She has told Tibbie to keep the kettle boiling 
on the hob in the kitchen_, and has left the lamp 
lighted in the parlour^ bnt turned down,, in 
readiness to be screwed np on the first sounds 
of tlic approach of the gig, and this done she 
goes to the drawing-room, and sitting down on 
the rug by the fire, gives way to a fit of crying. 
She does not indulge herself long in this luxury, 
however, and drying her eyes tries to knit the 
thumb of a muffatee she is making for Mr. Dods, 
but at length she lays her work aside, and rising 
from her lowly seat takes a chair, as Cousin. 
Jemima very possibly may make remarks on the 
rug not being a dignified position for a married 
woman to occupy. The gloaming, or dark half- 
hour, being a favourite time of hers, she does 
not light the lamp or candles, and with her 
hands folded one on the other upon her knees, 
she gives herself up to her old trick of dreaming. 

" Oh, is that you, Mr. Dods ?^^ she says, 
jumping up and running to the door; she puts 
her arm within that of a man who has just 
entered, and draws him further into the room. 
" It has been such a long tiresome day without 
any one to speak to.^-* 

" I regret I have not the happiness of being 
Mr. Dods,^^ replies Terrier. 

'^ Mais, well, it is a fact that it is, monsieur,^' 


she exclaims in confusion^ withdrawing her arm 
from his. 

^^ There is no need for you to go such a mile 
away from me, although I am not Mr. Dods/^ 
says he_, approaching near the fire which Thyrza 
pokes into a blaze. "^ You seem very comfort- 
able here/^ he continues, with a quick glance of 
his cold steel-grey eyes that causes Mrs. Dods 
to retreat further into the shadow of the mantel- 
shelf, that he may not see she has been crying. 

*' Oh, we are comfortable enough, and I have 
nothing to complain of.^^ 

" Ah, I suppose you do not hold those opinions 
you once did, when you and I sat on the bridge 
by the Bogg T' 

" I have not forgotten, monsieur. I re- 
member I did talk a great deal of nonsense, but 
I thoughr you had forgotten,^'' she rejoins, with 
the sort of thrill she cannot prevent coming over 
her whenever she is with Terrier. " I am wiser 
now and older.^^ 

" By a few months.''^ 

" And altered ?" 

'' Hum, yes.^^ 

" For the better I hope.'' 

" Query, but we will leave that an open 
question. Altered in one respect, yes, you wear 
earrings now. A girl whom I once knew had 


pretty little ears, and did not disfigure them 
by wearing earrings. The same girl has gone 
in for the fashions since then, and has the 
ordinary style, just like anybody else." 

" Mr. Dods " 

" Liked you to wear them, and it was only 
natural you should do what he wished." 

" But, monsieur, they are pretty earrings," 
taking out one from her small shell-shaped ear. 
'^ Look, they are not common, or vulgar, or 
tawdry. Nothing can be simpler — a bunch of 
grapes, with pearls for grapes, and they are very 
old; they belonged to Mr. Dods^s mother." 

^^ So I see," returns Ferrier. " Is Mr. Dods 
not at home ?" 

" No, he has been in Middleby all day ; and 
he is bringing out Cousin Jemima with him to 
pay a long visit, and it is very slow." 

'^ How nice poor Mark^s pictures look ! He 
had a good deal of taste. By-the-bye, he has left 
enough money to square my affairs, and I am a 
free man again." 

^^ I can imagine why he did so," says she, 
placing her little feet, daintily shod in high- 
heeled shoes with big rosettes, on the fender and 
holding out her hands to the fire. The light 
dances on the minister's carbuncle ring, which 
she wears above her guard and wedding-ring. 


" You knew about his wife all the time and 
kept the secret well/'' 

" I very nearly let it out once or twice/^ 

" Poor dear Mark^ I shall never have such a 
true friend again ! We had known each other 
ever since we were little shavers. Ah^ well, Mrs. 
Dods, has the minister converted you T' 

" No.^^ 

" Calvinism is, in some respects, a very con- 
venient religion. If you believe its extreme 
tenets, you are not troubled at all. If you are 
one of the elect, you will be saved ; if you are 
not of the elect you won^t, do what you may and 
try as you can. Anyhow, your actions, whether 
good or bad, can^t affect the ultimate result, which 
to my mind upsets one^s notions of right and 

" The minister's cousins are of the elect of the 
elect ; the creme de la crime of the elect/' says 
she, mischievously. 

" I daresay the minister believes more firmly 
than ever in unconditional predestination. I 
should do so if I were in his shoes.'' 

'- Why, monsieur ?" 

" Because — can't you guess ? he believes that 
you were unconditionally predestined from all 
eternity to be his wife. At the other side of the 
globe, so to speak, a small child is taken off by 


the best fellow in the world and brought up in a 
pension in France. A wave of fate or destiny brings 
you to Carmyliej and there you find the venerable 
minister ready waiting for you. This was all abso- 
lutely predestined to happen, and it is very jolly for 
him. But how about a fellow who was put into 
the world apparently only to get the ups and 
downs of life ? Is it not unjust to punish him 
both in this and the next world ? What sort of 
a Deity is it that creates poor human beings and 
condemns them eternally without regard to their 
works ?" 

" I cannot explain what I believe ; but, as 
the French say, '' Le bon Dieu can do no wrong/ 
I don^t think as you do, monsieur." 

'' I ought to be contented, for I have come 
off better than I deserve," he says. " 'Pon my 
word, you are really changed. Change No. I. 
You pin your collar in front, instead of at the 
side. Change No. II. You plait your hair in 
a rational and common sense way round your 
head without any of those abominable cushions, 
that is another; and, pardon me, Thyrza — Mrs. 
Dods " — pulling himself up hastily. " I keep for- 
getting you are not a little girl, in whom I took 
an interest ; but a discreet married woman." 

" Oh, that she were discreet !" whines a wail- 
ing voice, which causes Thyrza to start violently 

VOL. III. 11 


— a voice belonging to that good, pious Christian 
•woman, the minister^s cousin, Jemima Tod. 
" Oh V^ Cousin Jemima has been in the drawing- 
room for the last minute or so, and has been 
taking in the scene with all her eyes and ears. 
Thyrza has left the blinds in the drawing-room 
up ; for there is a big brilliant star shining over 
the hills, and she did not like to shut it out. 
The scene is well enough in its way, if Cousin 
Jemima had only eyes to appreciate it. The 
room has been completely metamorphosed by 
Thyrza, and not a trace of its former stiflPness 
remains. There are now little tables with 
crimson-velvet tops, lounging and American 
chairs, statuettes, and brackets, and fine old 
china, formerly shrouded in the recesses of dark 
cupboards, which would have delighted Mr. 
Lefroy, arranged with a care for effect, which, how- 
ever, is thrown away upon Cousin Jemima. On 
the walls, freshly painted and papered, are several 
of Mark''s pictures; and the portrait of Thyrza, 
exquisitely finished, hangs over the mantelpiece. 
Most of the knick-knacks Thyrza has bought in 
Glasgow on her wedding trip ; none of them are 
very expensive, but all are pretty ; and it is 
wonderful what a magical change the expen- 
diture of a few pounds and the exercise of a 
little trouble and ingenuity have wrought. The 


room and the person must be past redemption 
in appearance, if they do not look well in the 
gloaming and the glimmer of firelight. The 
blaze of flame into which Thyrza has stirred the 
fire glows on Terrier in his shooting Chinese- 
velvet suit, his stockings of heather mixture 
wool, the steel muzzle of his gun, and the golden- 
tipped feathers of a brace of pheasants he has 
brought for the minister — a peace-offering, and a 
safe and valid excuse for paying a visit to Thyrza. 

She is sitting in a chair very near him. The 
Miss Tods, in their zeal to cut and shape Thyrza 
according to their ideas of what a minister's wife 
ought to be and not according to those specimens 
which came daily under their view in Queensmuir, 
had privately given instructions to the dress- 
maker who was intrusted with Thyrza's trous- 
seau to make it as simple as possible. If their 
object had been to disfigure Thyrza, it has de- 
feated itself. The plain style and simple make of 
the quiet dark-grey gown become her better 
than any elaborate trimming could have done, 
and the tight body, without a single fold or 
scrap of anything on it, fits beautifully to 
the soft curves of the round waist and sloping 

Cousin Jemima sees nothing to be approved of. 
Thyrza is receiving a young man in her hus- 



band^s absence. A young man who tells lier 
sbe pins ber collar straigliter than she used to 
do^ and who looks at her with a certain look 
Cousin Jemima has observed in other men when 
they were very much in love^, and in dangerous 
proximity to the beloved object. 

Ferrier is the first to recover himself. " Pray 
do not allow me to keep all the fire from you/' 
he says^ rising and offering Cousin Jemima a 

" What a cold drive we^ at least you must 
have had V observes Thyrza. 

'^ We had a cold drive^ Cousin Thyrza V' 

" Mr. Dods has not come upstairs yet, has 
he?'' inquires Ferrier. 

" Cousin James is giving some directions con- 
cerning the welfare of the quadruped Tobias/' 
responds Cousin Jemima. 

" Then, Mrs. Dods, will you be so good as to 

give my kind regards to your " he meant to 

have said husband, but the word sticks somehow 
in his throat, " to Mr. Dods, and tell him the 
pheasants ought to hang for a day or two before 
they are cooked. Please also add from Mrs. 
Ferrier that she says it is a long time since she 
saw either of you." And he takes his leave, 
whistles to his dogs, which he has left outside, 
and meditates all the way home upon his inde 


pendent means and the people into whose family 
Thyrza has married. 

" Well, Thyrza, my dear/^ says the minister, 
walking into the drawing-room, enveloped in an 
immense hairy Inverness cape, in which he looks 
very like a huge bear set up on his hind heels, 
" you are not sorry to see me back again, I dare- 
say ?^^ kissing her. 

" It has been a little lonely/^ she answers, 
passively enduring the caress. 

" No one been to call ?" 

'^ Yes, Mr. Terrier came a few minutes ago to 
call upon you. He had been out shooting and 
brought you a brace of pheasants.^'' 

" Oh, that was very good-natured of him. 
I heard of him in Queensmuir from Cousin 
Robert. Mr. Mark has divided his property 
between his wife and Mr. Ferrier. He will be 
marrying next, and, maybe, Cousin Jemima 
herself will be astonishing us all some of these 
fine days."' 

The minister's words go to Thyrza's heart with 
a great stab. She has borne because she must 
bear it, separation from Ferrier, but she cannot 
bear that he should marry another woman. The 
thought has never presented itself to her mind 
before. Neither has she reflected that if she 
now depends so much upon the chance of seeing 


him in the church on Sunday, or meeting him 
elsewhere, or having even the pleasure of listen- 
ing to the ring of his gun in the woods, what 
she will do when he has absolutely gone away 
from Carmylie for good and all. 

" Stranger things have happened, Cousin 
James,''^ responds Cousin Jemima. 

" Cousin Jemima will perhaps excuse us for 
a few minutes,''^ goes on the minister, " I have 
got some fish and some other things from 
Middleby which I should like Thyrza to see. 
First of all I think I will empty my coat pockets. 
There^s the Scotsman, and the Courant, and the 
Advertizer for you, Thyrza, and Punch. You 
will be supplied with news for several days now. 
Let me see. Here are also a new copy of 
' Cruden's Concordance of the Bible,^ and a 
packet of pens and a letter for you from your 
estimable grandfather, Mr. Rutherfurd, of High 

The minister is in exceedingly good temper 
with himself and tout le monde. He has been con- 
gratulated by his friends in Middleby on his 
connexion with such great grandees as the 
Rutherfurds of High Riggs, and all who have 
called at the manse and seen Thyrza have been 
loud in their praises of her. Her dowry, too, 
has been exaggerated to a large sum, and every- 


body thinks tlie minister has come into a fortune. 
All this makes him more pompous and important 
than ever. Thyrza helps him to take off his 
great-coat, a service he only allows her to per- 
form because it shows she has not that painful 
shrinking from him which had hurt his feelings 
so much on their wedding-day. 

" Dear me, Cousin James, cannot you take off 
your own coat ?'^ exclaims Miss Tod peevishly, in 
a way which causes Mr. Dods to rejoice he has 
married an unregenerate Episcopalian like Thyrza 
instead of a good pious Christian woman like 
Cousin Jemima. 

Cousin Jemima gives a sniff of criticism on 
being escorted into the parlour. She has come 
prepared to pick holes in everything, and above 
all in Thyrza^s housekeeping, and hole picking 
is such a very easy occupation. 

There are some people who never look for 
beauties, but are always on the qui vive for 
defects and blemishes in the works and doings of 
others. However, Cousin Jemima cannot say 
anything against the tastefully arranged table 
and the cozy room, nor can any improvement be 
suggested in the amber apple jelly which Cousin 
Jemima can hardly believe Thyrza has made 
herself from ^Irs. Hislop^s receipt. Tea over, 
Cousin Jemima goes into the drawing-room and 


looks under the chintz covers of the chairs to see 
whether there is anything underneath them 
besides chintz, while Thyrza and Mr. Dods are 
unpacking the purchases he has bought in 
Middleby. Mr. Dods decides he will not work 
at his "Antiquities of Carmylie^^ this evening, 
and_, coming into the drawing-room^ asks Thyrza 
for some music_, and Cousin Jemima puts on her 
spectacles wondering whether Thyrza and Mr. 
Dods sit in the drawing-room regularly, and 
if it is not very expensive for the minister to 
burn so many coals, and it happens that when 
Thyrza, after playing divinely, turns round to 
inquire of her husband if he likes it, she finds he 
is fast asleep, and not only asleep but snoring. 
The minister's snore is a downright full-toned 
deep bass snore with a short snort at the end of 
it, and Cousin Jemima holding up a warning 
finger to Thyrza, says authoritatively, " hush !" 

Thyrza, making no reply, takes her knitting 
and works slowly at the mufi'atee, sometimes 
stopping to play with a little Skye puppy, a 
descendant of Wasp^s, and a very mischievous 
dog. Snap is a gift from Mrs. Terrier, and 
consequently much prized by Thyrza. He has 
not been long in her possession and already has 
committed many misdemeanors. On the first 
Sunday of his arrival at the manse he chased the 


poultry round and round the courtyard,, finally 
sending the cock bang through the glass of the 
kitchen window. On the second Sunday he 
gnawed a new pair of the minister's slippers to 
pieces^ and on the third he dragged Thyrza's 
snufi"- coloured bonnet downstairs and delibe- 
rately tore the flower which adorned it to 

Thyrza hopes and trusts he will play no tricks 
on Cousin Jemima. 

^' Oh/' says Thyrza, after the minister has 
slept and snored for nearly two hours, during 
which she has not spoken one single word, " are 
not you dull, Cousin Jemima ? I am awfully 
dull,"" and the girl tries to stifle a yawn out of 
politeness to her guest. 

Dull with Cousin James in the house ! Dull 
when she can listen to his sonorous snores ! Dull 
when she is married ! Dull when she is so 
highly connected ! Dull when she could read 
"Blair's Sermons" or Young's "Night Thoughts" 
if so disposed ! What can Thyrza be thinking 

" I am never dull," replies Cousin Jemima, 
thinking of the ungodly young man in the velvet 
shooting suit whom she had come upon in the 
gloaming, chatting so confidentially with the 
minister's wife, " a properly regulated mind can 


always find employmeut, and a well conducted 
woman ought to i^equire no other society than 
that of her husband/' 

Cousin Jemima sniffs when she has said this, 
and she wishes she might add that Thyrza has 
need to take this home to herself, for it is only 
ill-constituted and badly regulated minds which 
experience attacks of dulness. 

" Dear me V^ remarks Mr. Dods, waking up 
and stretching himself. '' I have not been 
asleep, have I ? I am sure I have not. Do 
not let the fire down, dear, I will ring for 
Tibbie to bring some coals. It is very chilly 

'^ Cousin Thyrza has been complaining she 
was dull,'' says Miss Tod. 

" I daresay she was, too, poor little dear," 
rejoins Mr. Dods. "You and I are two old 
fogies by the side of her." 

" I am nearly seven years younger than you, 
Cousin James," answers Miss Tod, with consider- 
able asperity, " and you do not think yourself 
an old man." 

" Oh no, of course not," says Mr. Dods, again 
thanking Providence for giving him Thyrza 
instead of Cousin Jemima, " but I have no doubt 
she wanted some amusement. When I have 
finished the ' Antiquities of Carmylie ' I shall 


teach you the moves of chess, my dear. What 
used you to do at Carmylie T' 

" After the children's lessons were over in the 
evenings,, Mrs. Napier and Monsieur, Mr. Ferrier 
and I used to play billiards and pool. There 
was a good table.'''' 

" Billiards V^ cries Cousin Jemima. 

" She can say no more. This is worse than 
novel reading, worse than dancing, worse 
than that love for gay colours as evidenced in the 
knot of scarlet ribbon fastening Thyrza^'s collar, 
which forms so artistic a contrast with the dark 
grey of her dress, worse than talking over the 
fire with that young man Jack Ferrier. Truly, 
Thyrza is far on the downward road to perdition. 
And Cousin James by no means manifests that 
horror and aversion which, being a minister, he 
ought to manifest. Cousin Jemima, good woman, 
she does not know that the minister himself is 
partial to billiards, but dares not confess such a 
fearful sin. Thyrza, however knows it, the 
minister having once plaj^ed at Carmylie. She 
is wiser than she was before her marriage, for 
she actually, although dying to shock Cousin 
Jemima, restrains her tongue, and Mr. Dods re- 
turns thanks by his eyes for her self-control. 
Nevertheless, Mr. Dods desires to keep in with 
Cousin Jemima. Thyrza will have money it is 


true^ but there is this to be said about money^ 
that it is one of those things of which one can 
scarcely have too much. 

" I must have slept longer than I thought/^ 
says Mr. Dods_, sneezing, " for I am very cold. 
We will try to have a more lively evening to- 
morrow_, dear.''^ 

" Shall we have prayers now and the toddy 
afterwards T' asks Thyrza. 

^^ Yes_, dear,, and put the dog out ; yes, Thyrza, 
it will be best to send Snap into another room ; 
the last time we had prayers, I unfortunately 
knelt down on his tail, and I fear, I very much 
fear, that the howl the little dog gave on that 
occasion, was the cause of Tibbie nearly choking^ 

After prayers Thyrza makes Cousin Jemima a 
strong jorum of toddy, and that lady is in a 
much more amiable condition than before. Be- 
fore Thyrza quits her for the night, Cousin 
Jemima examines the sheets on the bed, and is 
relieved to find they are linen, not cotton. She 
inquires whether they have been properly aired, 
and seeing that everything has been done for 
her comfort, her prejudices against Thyrza begin 
to be somewhat mitigated. The incident of the 
Planchette has damaged Thyrza very much in her 
estimation, and neither of the maiden ladies 


has forgiven her the supposed insult. The trouble 
Thyrza has evidently taken about her room 
goes some distance towards removing her dislike, 
and who shall say what effects the potent toddy 
may not have had ! 

" Humph V she sniffs, '^ Cousin Thyrza, I 
should like a hot pig in bed/'' 

"A hot pig!" 

" Yes, a hot pig ; a hot bottle then, if you do 
not understand. They are handy things among 
cold sheets. ^^ 

'' Thyrza, Thyrza \" calls Mr. Dods. 

^' Cousin James is calling you. The man is 
never at peace unless you are with him.'''' 

" Yes, Mr. Dods,'' says Thyrza. 

" Cousin Jemima has all she wants ?" he asks. 

" She says she has.''' 

" Excellent pious Christian woman," continues 
Mr. Dods, rubbing his shaven chin, ^' she has 
her little peculiarities, but we must excuse 
them and humour them at, ahem — her time of 

" She may be very excellent and so on," re- 
turns Thyrza, " but it is a fact, I am glad Cousin 
Keren-Happuch has gone to Middleby to get 
a new set of teeth, and was therefore unable to 
come. Two of them together would have been 
too awful." 


'^ As long as you and she can get on 
for a few days^ I do not object to your ex- 
pressing these opinions to me. Will you make 
me a little more toddy, dear ? I think it 
tastes better when you brew it for me. If you 
have five minutes to spare, I should like to read 
you a paragraph from the ' Antiquities of 
Carmylie/ "'■' 

Thyrza has five minutes to spare^ and the 
minister reads several paragraphs from the " An- 
tiquities of Carmylie/^ She thinks that she is 
very comfortable and very respectable, but if this 
is the normal condition of respectability and 
comfort; it is extremely monotonous. Most 
likely however it is in some way her fault. She 
must be very ungrateful to murmur and com- 
plain, when Providence has sent her so many 
blessings, and to feel dull when Mr. Dods is 
exerting himself to the utmost to amuse her, by 
reading copious extracts from that wonderful 
production, the '^ Antiquities of Carmylie.''^ 


EAR Mrs. Dods, — It will give us all much 
pleasure if you and Mr. Dods will dine 
with us this evening at half-past seven o'clock. 
We had heard Mr. Dods intended to make a long 
stay in Middleby^ or the invitation would have 
been sent sooner. If you have any friends visiting 
you at the manse we shall he happy to see them 
also. With our united kind regards to Mr. 
Dods and yourself, 

*^' Believe me^, dear Mrs. Dods, 

^^ Yours very sincerely, 

'^ Chauity Napier.^' 
" Dear me, how very unfortunate it is that I 
should have such a had cold,"'"' says Mr. Dods, 
entering the parlour about nine o^clock on the 
following morning ; '' Thyrza, dear — ^' 

" She is not down. Cousin James,''' responds 
Cousin Jemima, with an intonation meant to 
awaken ]\Ir. Dods to the fact that she is ready 


waiting to receive him, while that "unhallowed 
young woman most probably will not be down- 
stairs for the next half hour. There are no virtues 
so admirable, so necessary for housewives as 
early rising and general punctuality — virtues 
Cousin Jemima has practised assiduously all her 
life, and yet Cousin James has not fallen in love 
with her. Truly, love is blind, and Cupid is 
well depicted with bandages before his eyes. 
Cousin James, however, does not awaken to 
Cousin Jemima^s view of the case. 

'' She will not be long,''^ he answers. 

" It is very reprehensible for the lady of the 
house to be unpunctual," goes on Cousin Jemima. 
" Cousin Thyrza, although young, would find it 
excellent discipline to accustom herself to rise 
early and to be punctual.'''' 

'' AVho is taking my name in vain T' asks 
Thyrza, coming into the parlour in the middle of 
Cousin Jemima's exordium, looking as fresh as 
paint in her sober dark garb with natty white 
cuffs at her wrists, and a narrow white collar at 
her throat. 

" You see we have missed you,'^ says Mr. 
Dods, gallantly. ^' Nothing can be done without 
our fair lady.^^ 

Thyrza's words sound flippant and profane to 
Cousin Jemima, and she is astonished that Mr. 


Dods encourages her in it^ instead of adminis- 
tering a rebuke. 

*' I hope you slept well^ Cousin Jemima/' says 
Thyrza. " I chose that room for you^ thinking 
you would like it^ as it is well protected from the 
east wind." 

Cousin Jemima wishes she could say she had 
not been comfortable, but as she cannot, she is 
forced to confess she did sleep well. 

"Where will you sit? Do you like your 
back to the fire ? Shall I place a screen for 
you ?" pursues Thyrza. '^ We are going to have 
prayers directly. Oh, have you got a letter so 
early in the day ? Who is it from ? Mrs. Napier, 
I can tell at this distance from the scent.''-' 

" You, Cousin Jemima, will be able to go, 
dear ; but I cannot, at which I am much disap- 

" Would it not be more seemly to defer the 
discussion of frivolous matters until after we 
have united in family worship ?" inquires Miss 
Tod. " You are very hoarse, Cousin James."" 

'* Shall I read the sermon for you, Mr. Dods T' 
asks Thyrza, placing a Bible and a book of family 
prayers upon the table. 

" Thank you, my dear, it is very kind of you," 
says Mr. Dods, turning over the leaves of a 
volume of sermons. 

VOL. III. 15 


^^Don^t let it be a very long one/' petitions 
his wife. 

" Don't you like sermons ?" wails Cousin 

'' No^ I can't bear tbem. Mr. Dods does not 
care mucb about them either, do you?" she 
says, putting the minister in a regular fix, for 
although he lets Thyrza into all his secrets, still 
he did not expect his private, particular predi- 
lections would be exposed before the gaze of 
Cousin Jemima of all people. 

'^We-U,-" he replies, there is a possibility of 
having too much of a good thing. I don't think 
it would be quite prudent to say, my dear. Here 
is the place for you to begin reading." 

" Oh, Snap has come in, he and Peter always 
fight. Tibbie, can you catch Peter?" exclaims 
Thyrza to Tibbie, who with the cook and 
Tammas the orra man have come in to prayers, 
and are sitting in a row, ranged on the sofa, 
Bibles in hand, in readiness to turn up the text 
of the sermon. 

Snap is soon caught; but Peter, the black 
cat, shows more sport. He dodges in and out, 
under the chairs, and among the legs of the table, 
pursued by Tibbie on all-fours, calling alter- 
nately, '' Pussy, pussy, pret-ty pussy. Oh, you 
wratch ! Pussy^ oh, you rogue ! oh, you rascal ! 


Pussjj pussy/^ until, to Cousin Jemima^s inex- 
pressible scandal, Tbyrza goes into a fit of 
laughter, and even the grave couutenance of 
Mr. Dods is crossed by a smile. 

"That will do, Tibbie,"*^ he says, at length. 
" Now, Thyrza dear, we are ready ,^^ looking 
towards his wife. 

It is a very nervous thing to read aloud before 
a critical audience, more especially if you are 
unaccustomed to it, and if it is trying to read 
aloud a secular work, it is still more trying to 
read aloud from the Bible. Thyrza has re- 
covered her composure, but she is almost as 
nervous about the sermon as she was about 
being married. However, she begins, and in 
rather a shaky, trembling voice, gets over the 
text all right, the servants verifying it with their 
Bibles, and the minister fixing his eyes on her 
and listening to the sweet liquid tones of her 
voice as though he were drinking in every word 
she said. 

Cousin Jemima fixes her eyes likewise on 
Thyrza ; but she does not contemplate her in 
the manner in which the minister does. Thyrza 
is corrupting the minister's principles, perhaps 
even converting him to the Episcopalian religion. 
How are the mighty fallen ! Thyrza finishes 
the sermon and starts Keble's morning hymn, 

15 — 2 


which the minister admires very much, and 
the tune and words of which she has taught the 
servants to sing. This is an innovation which 
shocks Cousin Jemima. It is French and thea- 
trical — not to say it has a strong Popish flavour 
about it. Cousin Jemima feels very poorly 
during the singing of that hymn. Mr. Dods 
being too hoarse to read, Thyrza begins the 
prayer, at which all kneel down on the floor. 
Cousin Jemima groans to herself, then she 
groans audibly. Peter approaches her in an 
insinuating way, waving his black tail to and 
fro in an elegant arch, and leaping upon Cousin 
Jemima^s back he takes a mean advantage of that 
poor lady^s helpless condition and meanders up 
and down, sharpening his claws in her dress as 
he feels inclined, and purring loudly at the top 
of his voice in token of his satisfaction. The 
agony Cousin Jemima undergoes is simply in- 
conceivable. Thyrza does not observe her pre- 
dicament until she has very nearly stuck in the 
concluding words of the blessing, and then if it 
were to save her life, she cannot resist laughing. 
The servants go to the kitchen and Mr. Dods 
flips Peter out of the door with his handkerchief, 
and with as grave a face as he can muster, 
says — 

" My dear, another time we must really see 


that the pets are not in the room during 

" I am very sorry, Cousin Jemima/' pleads 
Thyrza ; " but if you had seen the cat you 
would have laughed too/' 

" Peter is difficult to catch/' adds Mr. Dods. 
^^ Will you come to the table, Cousin Jemima ?" 
and he offers up a short prayer instead of grace. 

" Now that we are settled/' says Thyrza, 
" what is there in Mrs. Napier's letter ? A 
little more coffee. Cousin Jemima ? Mr. Dods, 
you are not looking after her properly." 

" Mrs. Napier has invited us to dinner to- 

'^ Cannot you come ?" she asks, while Mr. 
Dods draws his chair beside hers ; for he has 
abdicated his position as master of the house at 
the foot of the table, and at meals always sits 
by Thyrza's side. 

" I have got a very bad cold and I should not 
like to be laid up for Sunday, so I fear I must 
deny myself for once. But that need not pre- 
vent you and Cousin Jemima from going." 

" The frivolities of life have no charms for 
me/' responds Miss Tod. " Our thoughts have 
naturally such a tendency downwards that I 
endeavour invariably to train mine heaven- 


'^ Very excellent^ very good,, very true/' 
answers the minister. " Still a little society is 
good for every person. There is nothing that I 
enjoy more than a well-managed dinner party, 
more especially if the guests are pleasant people, 
and they are likely to be so to-night." 

" But I can go_, can-'t I ?" says Thyrza. " I 
have not had any fun for an age." 

" Had I been Cousin Thyrza and you were 
suffering from a severe influenza cold_, I could 
not have left you for any amusement, however 

"Probably you would not, and your remark 
evinces the kindness of your disposition. But 
Thyrza remaining at home could not cure 
my cold ; and, dear me ! I am very hoarse, I 
think I must apply a mustard poultice after 

" You should not have risen. Cousin James," 
cries Cousin Jemima, with tender affection. 
Now Mr. Dods will see the difference between 
the unselfish disposition of his idolizing cousin 
and the young, giddy, thoughtless girl he has 
married. "/ will stay with you to-night, and 
Cousin Thyrza can go to her dinner-party." 

" Oh, I could not think of such a thing," 
returns the minister, a whole evening alone with 
Cousin Jemima not being a pleasing prospect. 


'^ I was going to say that I should regret de- 
priving you and Thyrza of the party, it is so 
seldom that there is any society here at this 
season of the year. Formerly, you are aware, 
I had the reputation of being a great wanderer 
from home, there being no attraction at the 
manse, now you will not find me absent for 
more than a day. I am working hard at the 
' Antiquities of Carmylie' in order to finish it 
before the spring, when we expect Mrs. Hisiop 
and Robertina, and the boys are looking for- 
ward to some fishing. Thyrza, will you answer 
Mrs. Napier^ s letter and accept the invitation 
for yourself and Cousin Jemima V 

'' She need not accept it for me,"*^ says Cousin 
Jemima, in a very determined manner. ^' You 
are seriously indisposed. Cousin James, and I 
should not be surprised if you were going to 
have a severe illness. I should recommend you 
to go to bed at once and have a basin of hot gruel.^' 

" Perhaps, then, I had better not go at all,^' 
exclaims Thyrza, ruefully. 

This is just what Miss Tod wishes to prevent. 
She wants Thyrza to go, and she will stay at 
home with Mr. Dods, and make him believe 
himself an ill-used man by wailing over the 
pomps and vanities of the world as shown in the 
person of Thyrza. 


" I have merely caught cold in travelling- in a 
thorough draught from Middleby yesterday/' 
rejoins Mr. Dods_, laughing heartily. ^' One of 
the carriage windows would not shut tightly. 
All the old worn-out railway carriages are put on 
to the Queensmuir line, because it is a terminus 
station. I felt the wind catch the hack of my 
neck. I shall be quite well by Sunday, if I stay 
in the house until then." 

'^ It is best to take these things in time/' con- 
tinues Cousin Jemima, plaintively, as though 
Mr. Dods were already at the last gasp. 

" So it is ; I am sure you are very kind. But 
please yourself, cousin ; and if you like to go, do 
so. Thyrza is going to help me this 'morning in 
arranging my notes for the ^ Antiquities of Car- 
mylie,' and after dinner she will take you for a 
walk. The snow plough has cleared a path up 
the brae through the drifts to the Carmylie 

" I brought a few tracts to distribute among 
the poor people of the village," says Cousin 
Jemima, modestly. " If you have no objection, 
I should much prefer visiting the families of the 
fishermen to any worldly distractions, which only 
unsettle the mind." 

Mr. Dods has no objection to Miss Tod 
visiting any number of the fisher folks, and 


distributing as many tracts among them as she 
chooses ; but he has an objection to her remain- 
ing at home instead of going out to dinner. Of 
her solid excellence, her piety^ her goodness, her 
desirable gas shares, there is no doubt ; but there 
is also no doubt of her excessive capacity for 
boring him. However, the invitation is re- 
luctantly accepted for Thyrza alone. The object 
one longs for may be so discussed as to appear at 
last wholly distasteful, and Thyrza has lost all wish 
to go, from the observations of Cousin Jemima. 
She spends the morning with Mr. Dods, assisting 
him in arranging his manuscripts and looking up 
references in other antiquarian works. And in 
the afternoon. Cousin Jemima sallies forth with a 
basket on her arm, containing a couple of dozen 
tracts, to the fishing village. 

" Have you read those tracts I gave you the 
last time I was in the manse ?^^ inquires Miss 
Tod of a blooming young matron in a picturesque 
cottage, surrounded by a group of fair-haired 
healthy children. 

'' Aweel, I think I hae.'' 

" Does Mrs. Dods ever give you any ?'^ 

" Oh, na.^' 

Cousin Jemima is struck with the untidy 
appearance of the room, and moves uncere- 
moniously to set it to rights. 


" How do you like her ?" 

" Fine," is tlie response. " She is real quiet 
and peaceable, and never makes no disturbance/' 

" Does she visit you ?'' 

" No vera muckle. She never comes spying 
and keeking roond and roond intil a body's 
presses and cupboards. But when my laddie 
was hurt wi' the reaping machine at the end o' 
the hairst, she was real gude tae him, and 
brought him his denner every day. Oh, she is a 
fine bit lassie ; and the minister, Tibbie says, is 
just as daft aboot her as he was afore they were 

" But don't you ever see her ?" 

" Oh, there was whiles she went ilka day for 
a walk on the tap o' the cliffs." 

" Mr. Dods, of course, was with her ?" 

" Na, he was taen up wi' a muckle book he 
was writing." 

^^ I suppose she did not meet any one there ?" 

" Wha wad the lassie meet on the tap o' the 
clifis ? You might walk till you came to Mid- 
dleby by the clifi's, and no meet a man or a 
woman. The meenister is sair taen up aboot 
her. I didna see onything oot o' the ordinary 
aboot her ; but ye ken men-fouk see with other 
eyes frae women-fouk, and what we didna care 
for they do. They say her folks are awfu' 


grand, and they are coming tae the manse gin 
the summer/^ 

It is too true that men see with different eyes 
from women, otherwise Cousin Jemima had long 
ago been the happy wife of dear Cousin James. 
Cousin Jemima is so sadly disappointed that 
there is no peccadillo to be related against 
Thyrza, no speck or flaw to be descried, that she 
has not the heart to go to every cottage as she 
had intended doing, gleaning news of Thyrza-'s 
conduct and habits, and she regains the manse, 
somewhat crestfallen but not at all ashamed of 
her proceedings. Thyrza is sitting on the rug 
in the parlour, making the minister smile 
the playful antics of Snap and the wrath of 
Peter, who spits and swears from the cushion of 
the arm-chair; and the grey parrot, having been 
taught by Tom Hislop, when staying at the 
manse from one Saturday to Monday morning, 
also spits and swears enthusiastically. 

" We have got quite a menagerie here,^^ says 
Thyrza, springing into propriety on a chair, and 
dislodging Peter, " how good of you to visit all 
those poor people V' 

" Cousin Jemima is a most excellent woman/^ 
chimes in the minister. 

" I am afraid I am undeserving of your praise/^ 
answers Cousin Jemima. 


" I never know what to say to the poor, ex- 
cepting it is a fine day, and indeed I did get so 
into the habit of saying it, that one day I did 
stand under an umbrella when it was pouring, 
and say it is a fine day, and the woman at the shop 
said, yes, very fine. And then we both laughed. 
When Mr. Dods took me to see the congregation, 
I always asked how the children were, and 
sometimes the people had none. I used to say, 
well, how are you? And they said, well, how 
are you ? And, then I said, it^s a fine day, and 
they said it was fine, and when we had got 
as far as that we could go no farther, and we 
stood and stared at each other. How they did 
stare the first Sunday I went to the kirk ! I 
thought there was a smut at the end of my 
nose, or else that they thought I was an escaped 
lunatic. Oh, is not Snap pretty ? Has he not 
got dear little curly paws T' 

" He is only a dog,^^ observes Miss Tod, " and 
dogs have not souls." 

" I often wish Snap had V^ 

" Too much fuss is made with dogs and pet 
animals now-a-days ; one would think they 
were human beings," snifi's Miss Tod, senten- 

" Everything should be in moderation," says 
Mr. Dods. 


" Are not you coming, Cousin Jemima ?^^ 
asks Thyrza, patting Snap, " it is time for us to 

" I shall not be lonely," interposes Mr. Dods, 
" as I sliall retire early to rest. Bed is the best 
place for an influenza cold." 

But Cousin Jemima is deaf to the attractions 
of Carmylie, the dinner. Lord and Lady George 
Boggs. What are all these compared with the 
bliss of several hours with Mr. Dods ? Nothing 
absolutely nothing. So Thyrza goes upstairs to 
dress, her heart throbbing and bounding with 
delight at the idea of being able to see Ferrier, 
if only for a few short minutes. She is in a 
fever of impatience to be off. There will be one 
glimpss of Paradise, and then will begin her 
everlasting fast. She arranges and re-arranges 
her pretty brown hair half a do;:en times, she is 
so anxious to look her very best, and spends 
more time in surveying herself in the mirror 
than she did on her wedding day. After all, 
she is not satisfied with herself. Her face being 
paler than usual, and having accidentally dis- 
covered that barberries have a red juice in them, 
she squeezes some over her cheeks from a bunch 
in a vase, but after a moment decides on wash- 
ing it off. 

Mr. Dods sends up word by Tibbie that he 


wishes to see how she looks before setting out, 
and when she has come to the conclusion her 
gown is pretty, she goes down to the parlour 
where Mr. Dods and Cousin Jemima are at 

^^ "WTiere got ye that grand goun from ?^^ ex- 
claims Cousin Jemima ; " why, you are prinked 
out like a princess, instead of a minister's 

" It was in one of the boxes which poor Mr. 
Mark brought home from China/' says Thyrza. 
" Is it too much ?" 

" Thy dress was like the lilies, and thou wert 
fair as they," quotes Mr. Dods ; ^' it is like one 
of those great Japan lilies Miss Lefroy has at 
Lillieshill, white powdered with gold, and that 
face above it is like the fragrance of the 

" That is the very prettiest compliment any 
one ever paid me," smiles Thyrza. 

^^ I think you ought to let me have a kiss for 
it/' says the minister. " Thank you^ dear. Now, 
don't stay late." 

" No, I won't," she promises ; ^^ I wish you 
were both coming with me, but you look very 
snug, and don't let any one sit up for me." 

'^Tibbie will go with you^ my dear, and she 
and Tammas will bring you home. Half-past 



ten will be late enough^ since the affair of Gow 
one does not feel quite so secure as formerly ; it 
does not tend to reassure one that^ in spite 
of tlie numerous police force^ the villain has got 
off scot free^ it is supposed^ to America/^ 


HE dinner party does not differ from the 
general run of dinner parties in Kilniddry- 
sliire. There are the usual soups, joints, entrees, 
and the usual set of guests to be met with at every 
house in the county of the same standing as 
Carmylie. The only exception to this rule is 
Lillieshill, where the dinner is invariably unex- 
ceptionable, and the wines perfection : but then 
every one has not the time nor the money to 
devote to the study of what Mr. Lefroy calls the 
divine science of cookery. Any one who has 
lived two years or so in the neighbourhood of 
Queensmuir can guess within an ace the people 
he is likely to meet at dinner. At Carmylie 
there are Lord and Lady George Boggs ; they 
are deafer than ever, and would have been 
happier at home by their own fireside. Mrs. 
Napier, however, dearly loves a lord, and has 
persuaded them to come, Mr. and Mrs. MacNab 


with Archie and Jane and Lola^ and as a variety- 
three girls from Middleby, rather vulgar^ and 
four young men who have obtained leave of 
absence from Edinburgh Castle on the distinct 
understanding it is the last they will have for 
some time^ otherwise complaints will be for- 
warded to head-quarters. As the balls and 
assemblies will soon begin in Edinburgh^ they 
are not broken-hearted_, and have passed several 
days at Quentinshope very much to their own 
satisfaction and that of the maternal instincts of 
Mrs. MacNabj she being continually on the look- 
out for Eligibles. 

" What shall we do to amuse ourselves ?" 
asks Charity when the ladies have left the dining- 
room and are collected round the fire. '^^We 
have plenty of time before us^ as I am happy to 
say you are all going to stay over the night 
here. Dinner-parties break up so soon ; 
generally when the stiffness is beginning 
to wear off. It seems absurd to dress oneself 
for an entertainment lasting scarcely three 

Ferrier has " had it out^-* with Charity about the 
message she invented as his^ but not to much 
purpose. She did not attempt to deny it at all. 
She had done it entirely for his good and that 
of Thyrza^s_, dear girl ; she had always been so 

VOL. III. 16 


fond of her_, and it grieved her to see so sweet a 
young creature tied down to the drudgery of 
teaching all day long, and she had tried to 
settle her advantageously. Jack could not say, 
as things were then_, that it was not a good 
marriage for her. She had a kind husband who 
had insured his life heavily in her favour, and a 
charming little house, and it was very unkind 
and cruel of Jack to scold his poor sister. She 
had acted to serve his interests, nothing else ; 
here Charity cried a little, and she looks very 
pretty with her eyelids quivering and her eyes 
filled with tears ; she does the crying business 
well ; she believed she had spared both Jack and 
Thyrza much wretchedness, and who was to 
guess that Mark would fall over a rock at the 
top of the Witches Law, and break his back 
and leave his money to Terrier. It was very 
cruel, very cruel indeed that her purest and 
highest motives should be misunderstood or mis- 
interpreted. All of which did infinite credit to 
Charity^s knack of managing things. She is 
wise in her generation, and ought to have lived 
Tv^hen diplomatic talents were at a premium. 
Ferrier came away from his sister with the im- 
pression that while he and Thyrza had been 
hardly treated by fate. Charity is an angel of 
goodness and humility. 


" Round games are dull and stupid, and no 
one ever pays the forfeits/' says Lola. 

'^ How nice a charade would be !" suggests 
Charity, ^^ we could act at the other end of the 
room, bring in the screen from the dining-room 
to mark off the stage, and turn Jack's study 
into a green-room. What do you think of it, 
Mrs. Dods ?'' appealing sweetly to Thyrza. 

Mrs. Dods may look as pretty as she likes, 
and wear the most elegant gowns now. Charity 
acknowledges mentally that the white silk tissue, 
with gold coloured stripes, suits Thyrza, but do 
what she will, she is only old Dods's wife at the 
best. He is too old to make a name in litera- 
ture, and he has not the pluck to render himself 
famous by starting a new sect ; the ministerial is 
not a profession in which it is possible to rise 
high or make money, and Thyrza must remain 
for the residue of her days shunted off from the 
pleasm-es and gaieties of the world at Carmylie 
fishing village. The minister is good for the 
next twenty years, he comes of a long-lived race, 
and when Thyrza is left a widow she will be 
long past the bloom of a woman's life. Any 
feeling of dislike towards Thyrza has completely 
vanished since her success in marrying her safely 
out of the way ; she can even see what she could 
not see before, that Thyrza is uncommon looking, 



and as she observes it^ she likewise reflects that 
Jack is so fastidiously honourable that there is 
no chance of his thinking of her now she is the 
minister's wife. 

^^ I daresay it would be very nice/' says 

" Are you talking of acting a charade P'' asks 
Archie MacNab. ^'^What would the minister 
say to that, Mrs. Dods T' 

'' When the cat's away, the mice will play/-* 
rejoins Charity, softly. " We won't tell any 
tales, shall we, Mr. MacNab ?" 

" I always do exactly as I like," answers 
Thyrza, rather haughtily. " You can tell Mr. 
Dods as much as you wish." 

" Supposing we act, who shall be the com- 
pany ?" proceeds Charity. 

" You ought to be the guiding spirit of the 

" Oh, I am too timid and my powers of 
invention are very limited. No, I suggest that 
you and your sisters, and Mrs. Dods, and my 
brother act, while the rest of us form the 
audience. Davie and Rosie will show you the 
way to Jack's study, and you can consult there 
over your word." 

" Now, Mrs. Dods, Lola, Jane, cudgel your 
brains for a word," drawls Archie, resplendent 


as ordinary in the glories of a marvellously 
frilled shirt-front with diamond studs, when the 
" company" have withdrawn into Terrier's study, 
where a looking-glass has been placed and a 
heterogeneous collection of bonnets,, hats, old- 
fashioned costumes which belonged to the de- 
parted ancestors of the Campbells, rouge, and 
burnt cork are awaiting the intending actors. 
'^ A word, a word, my kingdom for a word/' 

" I never acted before," objects Lola. " What 
shall we say when we do appear on the 
stage r 

" Unaccustomed as I am to public speaking, 
you will kindly imagine what this ought to be, 
as Tertius Hislop said in that wonderful speech 
of his at the Bank,'' answers Jane. 

"Perhaps Mrs. Dods has got an inspiration 
from her learned husband," says Archie. 

" Get the dictionary and choose the word 
which comes first when you open it." 

"We shall never be able to act," protests 
Jane and Lola, in correct young lady chorus. 

" Not half bad that about the dictionary," 
returns Archie. " Motion carried unanimously. 
Here goes. Nobility ; that's the first that 
meets my fond gaze." 

" Too long," says Ferrier ; " how would you 
divide it ?" 


"No, that would be one syllable; bil, two; 
then i, and then ty, and the whole/'' 

" It^s too long. I have it^ Mistletoe — which 
we will spell^ Miseltoe — season of year for the 
shrub — the very thing /^ 

" How will you do it V 

" Add another s to the first syllable and it 
will be Miss. Will you personate a married 
lady^ Miss MacNab ? I am sure you will act 
the part I am going to describe to perfection/"' 
continues Terrier, with the peculiarly polite man- 
ner he always uses to a person towards whom he 
is completely indifferent. " You and your bro- 
ther will be a Mr. and Mrs. Smith, who have 
a lovely daughter — indeed, two lovely daughters. 
The lovely daughters shall be Mrs. Dods and 
Miss Jane. I am suitor for one of these daugh- 
ters — we will say Mrs. Dods. You and Archie 
are stern parents. Scene opens before going out for 
an evening party. You give the daughter in- 
structions to receive no visitors in your absence. 
The suitor being denied entrance by the door, 
the chimney, or the window, is brought into the 
house in a wine-hamper. He makes love ; the 
stern parents arrive unexpectedly. Denouement" 

" A 1,'' says Archie. " Then the second ?"" 

" Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof,^^ 
replies Terrier, going into the passage to speak to 


" The orra man Tammas and Tibbie hae come 
frae the manse for Mistress Dods." 

" Give them some supper and send them 
home again/' answers Terrier, at once, " and 
tell them I shall take Mrs. Dods to the manse 
myself/' and he returns to the study, where 
the actors are arraying themselves in the 
old costumes and are endeavouring to regard 
themselves in the mirror at one and the same 

" Our company are rather long in coming,^' 
remarks Charity ; " amateur things are always 
slow. Professionals dress and change their 
dresses with almost miraculous rapidity.^' 

No one can make a pleasanter hostess than 
Charity can when it pleases her to be pleasant, 
and it pleases her to do the amiable to-night. She 
is exquisitely dressed, as is her wont. No one ever 
saw Charity in an ill-fitting gown, or an ugly or 
unbecoming shade of colour or bonnet. She has 
on a very dark purple dress of a thin material, 
made wdth countless frills and trimmings, a tint 
chosen with regard to her pink and white skin 
and flaxen hair, the dark purple making her 
look fair as alabaster, and suggesting the com- 
parison to some stately flower robed in purple. 
It always puts Charity in a good temper to 
know she is looking better than the other women 
in the room, and to feel assured that her petti- 


coats tang, as they ought to do_, in a better 
style than those of her neighbours. The only 
things which really ^^fetch^'' Charity, are an 
awkward man or a still more awkward woman 
treading on her train, or the suspicion that 
another individual of her own sex is occupy- 
ing more of the men^s attention than herself. 
These two things " fetch^^ Charity amazingly. 
Being wonderfully amiable, she exerts herself to 
arrange a card-table for the seniors of the party, 
and sitting down near Lord George, spreads out 
her dress in a graceful manner, which could not 
be eclipsed by any woman in Kilniddry shire. 
Being wise in her generation she has made the 
most of the advantages Nature has bestowed 
upon her, and she does the same now when she 
settles her draperies, so as to make the most of 
them and of herself, and begins a delicate piece 
of point-lace work, which shows off her rings 
and the beauty of her white, taper, jewelled 
fingers. The card-players leave off their whist 
when Davie calls out that the actors ai'e ready 
and the curtain is about to be withdrawn. In 
this case the screen represents the curtain, and 
it requires a little care in folding together. The 
removal of the screen having been safely accom- 
plished, Archie and Lola MacNab are discovered 
seated by a table. Both are so altered by the 


addition of pearl powder, rouge, blackened eye- 
brows, and powdered hair, as to be scarcely 

" Our youngest daughter gives me great 
anxiety,^^ says Archie. " I fear she will make 
a low marriage. ^^ 

" She does the same to me. She is so diflPe- 
rently conducted from our eldest darling, Miss 
Penelope Smith. ^'' 

" I shall certainly break some of their heads, 
I mean the heads of some one ; no, no ; what 
I wish to say is that I shall bweak the head of 
that audacious gamekeeper who has dared to 
pwesume to the hand of my daughter.'^ 

'^ We are going to dine with the Duchess of 
Carrabas to-night.^' 

" We do not go until I have given a large 
piece of my mind to Fwidoline on the subject of 
Hanton, the keeper,''^ rapping on the screen with 
his stick. " Penelope, my love ; Fwidoline, the 

Enter Thyrza and Jane. 

" Your adorable mother and myself and Pene- 
lope are going to dinner at the Duchess of 
Carrabas's. As your conduct is ill-pleasing to 
us we leave you behind, and hope to find you 
more contwite about the Marquis. We have 
given instwuctions to all the domestics to refuse 


admittance to that -wascal Hanton. He can 
hardly get down the chimney^ and the windows 
are nailed up or down, I am uncertain which 
term is wight. Both, I think. Penelope, my 
angel, come along ; Fwidoline, should I hear 
that low cad of a Hanton has been here both 
you and he shall perish."'"' 

Thyrza plays the piano and sings, " Love, the 
Pilgrim.^"* Enter Cecilia and Eattray, dragging 
a long wine-hamper into the room. They set it 
down in silence and depart. Thyrza ceases 
playing and advances to the hamper. 

<f For Fridoline, poor unhappy Fridoline, what 
can be in it ? Something very large, the hamper 
is so big. I must open it/"* and she cuts the 
strings which fasten down the lid with a 

A rustling is now to be distinguished, and 
suddenly Terrier, dressed in his Chinese shooting 
suit, springs out, gun in hand. 

" My darling Thy — Fridoline I" he exclaims. 
"They barred the doors and windows and 
chimneys against me, but ^ Love laughs at lock- 
smiths.' '' 

'^ Alas_, monsieur, my Hanton, if they should 
find thee here we are both undone.^' 

" They shall not find us here, we shall have 
gone. Let us fly together.''^ 


'^ Ah, but where shall we fly to, and what 
shall we live on when we have flown V 

" An honest heart and a hundred a-year/^ 
" That will hardly keep you in cigars/' 
'^ Cruel one, I will sing you a song to soften 
your heart, and who knows but that the pater 
and mater will yet come round : 

" The fountain mingles with the river, 

And the river with the ocean ; 
The winds of heaven mis for ever, 

With a sweet emotion. 
Nothing in the world is single. 

All things by a law divine, 
In one another's being mingle. 

Why not I with thine ?" 

Ferrier has a peculiarly clear enunciation, and 
one merit of his singing is, that although there 
is nothing remarkable about his voice, not a 
syllable is lost on the hearer. 

" See the mountains kiss high heaven, 
And the waves clasp one another," 

he continues, extending his arm to Thyrza, and 
his eyes, cold and steeled in their look to all but 
Thyrza, grow soft — voice and words and manner 
may be controlled, but the real expression of the 
soul looks out through the eyes — and he pro- 
ceeds to deliver the final glowing apostrophe with 
a passion and fervour evidently meant, not for 


the company in general^ but solely addressed to 
Thyrza — 

" No sister flower would be forgiven, 

If it disdained its brother, 
And the sunbeams clasp the earth, 

And the moonbeams clasp the sea, 
What are all these kis sings worth, 

If thou kiss not me ? If thou kiss not me ?" 

As he finishes he puts his arms round her and 
kisses her^ and Lola^ who has been waiting 
behind the screen with Archie for the conclusion 
of the scene, rush in, shrieking aloud_, " Miss, 
Miss, Miss, is this the way you conduct yourself 
when I am from home ! Murder ! fire ! thieves ! 
policemen ! Turn this villain out of the house,^^ 
and Archie makes his exit, dragging Terrier after 

'^ Got through that all right," says Archie. 
^' You came it strong in the love-making. Old 
Dods might have objected had he been here.''^ 

'' It looked very real," adds Lola. 
^'^ I am glad it did," returns Terrier. ^' Second 
syllable el to be considered." 

" Could we not make some use of this 
gorgeous Albanian costume of blue velvet and 
silver gauze sleeves ?" asks Jane. 

" Properly speaking the story ought to run 
through all the syllables. I am afraid we can^t 
do that," says Ferrier, " el what ?" 


" Is there not some chap called El Kadir who 
kicks up shindies somewhere or another V in- 
quires Archie. 

"Yes, I think so. Arab chief. Come, MacNab, 
and let me paint your face for you. It^s as oily 
as a duck^s back or an unprepared photo, and 
won^t take the paint a bit.''^ 

Archie is put into the Albanian costume and 
the actors return to the drawing-room just as 
Lord George and Mr. MacNab are involved in 
an animated discussion on the merits of the 
various cattle, sheep and pigs, respectively and 
collectively their properties; the best modes of 
fattening them ; the best makers of oil-cake, 
and other preparations, and the advantages of 
guano and bone manure for certain kinds of 

" I had fifty yards of a drill in a turnip-field 
dressed with artificial manure at the rate of 
one-and-a-half cwt. guano and three cwt. of 
dissolved bones per acre,^^ roars Mr. MacNab 
into Lord George^s ear- trumpet. 

"What?^^ answers Lord George, turning the 
trumpet nearer to Mr. MacNab, and shading his 
ear with his spare hand. 

" Fifty yards of a drill.'' 

"What in?'' 

" Turnip-field dressed with artificial manure," 


shouts Mr. MacNab, lustily, '' at tlie rate 

of '' 

" Archie V^ says his wife, shaking her much- 
hedizened head at him, as though he had been a 
naughty boy. Mrs. MacNab can never forget 
that her husband is the son of a weaver and a 
cook — a cook, too, who once held that respon- 
sible position at Carmylie — the identical house in 
which he now sits at his ease, a moneyed and 
landed proprietor. However, landed proprietors 
are not to be picked up every day in Kilniddry- 
shire ; and although Mrs. MacNab cannot forget 
that her husband's father was called Deil Mac- 
Nab, in Queensmuir; she forgives it, for she is 
fond of her husband and his money. This for- 
giveness does not prevent her from occasionally 
remarking to her daughters that it would be 
more " refined and genteel if Mr. MacNab would 
learn a few French phrases with which to adorn 
his conversation. '^ But Mr. MacNab is far too 
sensible a man to do anything of that kind, and 
has gained the respect of the Kilniddryshire 
" bigwigs " for his sterling sense and quiet 
manners. The actors have now come back, and 
present themselves in the guise of veiled Eastern 
women and a dervish — Archie, as El Kadir, in 
their midst. They walk solemnly round El 
Kadir holding tankards filled with claret, that it 


may not be a Barmecide feast ; and Terrier 
proposes the health of El Kadir, which is drunk 
con amove. After which^ to the general surprise 
and amusement,, El Kadir comes forward and, in 
excellent broad Scotch for a Bedouin chief, sings 
a song written for one of the Edinburgh panto- 
mimes — an universal favourite for some time 
afterwards among the young men and boys in 
that city. 

" A braw, braw, toon is oor Auld Reekie, 
A grand anld toon is oor Auld Eeekie, 
Ae half new and titlier half anteecky, 
Row-dow-de-dow, oor Anld Reekie !" 

^' Miss is evidently the first syllable/^ remarks 
Mrs. Ferrier^ when the second syllable is 
announced as finished. '^ Have you any idea, 
Lady George, what the last one is T' 

^' I have guessed the word/^ says Mr. Mac- 

'' I wish you would tell me/' answers Charity, 
" I am so silly about charades, and enigmas, and 
conundrums. Do tell me V with an enchanting 

" It is only your modesty which induces you 
to say so. Did you ever hear the reason why 
Adam never had the measles when he was a 
little boy V 


" No, I never did. I wonder what it can be. 
I told you I was so stupid about these kind of 
things. What was the question ?^'' 

^' Why Adam never had the measles when he 
was a little boy/'' shouts Mr. MacNab into Lord 
George^s trumpet. Lord George having shown 
signs he wishes to be taken into the conver- 

«f Very peculiar/^ says Lord George, not 
having heard distinctly, " when Adam was a 
little boy.'' 

" Because, of course, Adam never was a little 
boy,'' explains Mr. MacNab. 

" Oh, of course. These things are so simple 
when one knows how to do them." 

" We've got through two syllables tolerably," 
Terrier is saying to Archie in his study. " How 
about the third — toe ?" 

'^ Fellow with pet corn," replies Archie, 
thinking the get-up of El Kadir not unbecoming 
to his tall figure, and blonde hair and com- 
plexion. " I'll be an old gentleman with an 
only daughter. I have the gout, and come in 
leaning on Mrs. Dods's arm. She asks after my 
poor feet. I am in towering rage. You come 
to call, tread on my foot — mind you don't do it 
in reality — and I swear I will sue you for 
damage done to my toe." 


The screen is removed for the third time to 
show an apparently aged man with a night-cap 
on, a large dressing gown of Ferrier's, carpet 
slippers borrowed from Rattray, and a sur- 
prisingly red and white face. He hobbles along on 
Thyrza^s arm, and is assisted by her into a chair. 
" Dear papa, how are your poor feet ? Are 
you much troubled with rheumatism this even- 

" Poor feet !" says Archie, with well acted 
ferocity. '^ There is nothing the matter with 
my feet. A little rheumatism in my toe-joint. 
That's all ; that's all.'' 

" A gentleman come to call, sir," announces 
Lola, attired as a housemaid in a clean print 
with a fascinating cap in which she looks far 
prettier than in her evening dress. 

" How are your poor feet ?" asks Ferrier. 
" Why are you bothering about my feet ? 
What is it to you ?" exclaims Archie, " I can walk 
as well as you can, if not better," hobbling up 
and down. " What ! what a twinge of gou — • — 
rheumatism. What have you come here for ?" 

" To request you to oblige me with the loan 
of a five-pound note, and the gift of your lovely 

" You'd better hook it, sir ; if you don't want to 
be assisted by the fine point of my toe, sir. 

VOL. III. 17 


Whew ! Drat these rheumatics ! Ask for my 
daughter^ sir ! Whew ! and my money^ sir ? 
What next^ and who next ?" 

" Please^ sir, the lum^s a-lowe !^^* cry Lola, 
Jane, Davie, and Rosie, running on to the stage 
together, " and all the dinner is spoiled.*^ 

^' Send for a steam-engine to put it out — run, 
tear, rush, shoot V' shouts Archie, hopping along 
by the aid of a stick. '^ Whew !" as Terrier 
treads on his foot. ^^ YouVe broken my toe, 
sir. ril have you before the police. A thousand 
pounds compensation, sir, for the damage done 
to my toe. Whew V 

(( Word guessed ; word guessed,^^ calls Mr. 
MacNab. '' Mistletoe, is it not V 

" Yes. I thought you would find it out j it's 
such an easy word."*' 

^' Capital one though for Christmas time." 

'' Which scene did you like best 1'' 

^^ The first. There was most in it, and Mr. 
Terrier did the love-making well.'' 

"I thought of having a little dance now," 
says Charity. 

" I must just take ofi" this rouge and pearl 
powder; it makes a fellow's face so hot," ob- 
serves Archie. ^^ And then, Mrs. Dods, if the 
minister has not forbidden dancing, may I have 

* Anglice, " The chimney's on fire." 


the pleasure of the first dance with you ? A 
fellow cannot exactly dance in a nightcap, you 
know r 

" I shall be very happy," says Thyrza ; " but 
what o^clock is it V 

' " Are you bound to be home at any particular 
time T' 

^' Yes, Mr. Dods said half-past ten." 

" Oh, that was ridiculous," replies Eerrier ; 
^^ he could not expect you back so soon." 

" What o'clock is it ?" she asks, earnestly. 

^^ It will never be half-past ten o^ clock again 
on the 29th December, 1872," he answers. 

^^ Is it much later ?" 

^^ No," he returns, hesitatingly. " You must 
have a few dances before you go. You are 
engaged to MacNab for the first. Give me the 
second ? Old Dods is not alone ; he has that 
ancient tabby cat to keep him company, has he 
not ? It will break up our party entirely if 
you go now; and for once in a way I don't 
think he can object." Then he motions 
her to a table at the far end of the room 
and opens a book of photographs of foreign 

" You won't have the chance of spending 
another evening with me, Thyrza, or dancing 
with me again. Are not these pretty cartes j 



nice light on fhe castle of Chillon and the 
mountains ? You won-'t have the chance of 
refusing me again^ because " 

" Oh, monsieur, why T^ she cries. 

" Because I am going out to China by the 
next mail, which leaves Liverpool on the 31st, 
the day after to-morrow. I start from Carmylie 
to-morrow morning. Lennox has sent for me 
on account of a row some of our men have got 
into with some of another merchant's, and he 
can't get the mandarin to listen to reason unless 
I go. Luckily, the house for my mother is 
taken in London, and she can get into it in 
February. Now, darling, will you not stay with 
me a few minutes' longer, when we shall have 
the sea between us so soon ?" 

'' Going away !" she exclaims, letting the book 
fall with a great crash on to the floor. " Oh, 
monsieur, I cannot dance to-night." 

"Why not, Thyrzaf he asks, stooping down 
and picking up the book, and as he does so he 
manages unseen by the rest of the people in the 
room to press the hem of her gold- and- white 
gown to his lips. 

" How could I dance when you are going 
away ?" she says ; " I must go home, monsieur." 

" And leave me ? I shall not have time to 
come and bid you and the minister farewell, for 


my mother will want every moment I can give 
her^ and I tave all my traps to pack/^ 

" I want to go home, monsieur. It came so 
suddenly, so unexpectedly.''^ 

" Well, then, you shall. Mother," going up 
to Mrs. Ferrier, with the caressing way he often 
adopts in speaking to the gentle old lady, the 
apple of whose eye he has always been in good 
report and bad report, from the time when he 
broke his toys to see what was inside them to 
the present moment, when he has sacrificed all 
his capital, and made himself a poor man, in 
order to pay the debts of his father who had 
never loved his son, nor done him justice, 
" Mother, Mrs. Dods is tired and wishes to go 

" Have not Tammas and Tibbie come for 
me, Mrs. Ferrier V asks Thyrza. " Mr. Dods 
said he would send them for me at half-past 

" My dear, it is nearly half-past twelve 

" Have they been waiting all that time ?" ex- 
claims Thyrza. " Oh, what will Cousin Jemima 
say ? Perhaps,^' she adds, as a consolation and an 
afterthought, " she may have gone to bed and 
not sat up for me." 

" Mr. Dods will not be displeased, will he ?" 


says Mrs. Terrier, alarmed, lest she should inad- 
vertently have brought the girl into trouble with 
her husband. " I have always heard he was so 

" Oh yes ; so he is — it is Cousin Jenaima.^^ 

" Who is she ?" 

*^ A second or third cousin of Mr. Dods. I 
wish she had married him herself, as she seems 
to wish too that she had.^^ 

" Mrs. Dods, I hear you are meditating the 
treason of going home without giving me my 
dance. I call that shabby. Listen to that 
waltz !" as Mrs. MacNab, no mean musician, 
begins one of the German waltzes, so sad and so 
charming for dancing, and Thyrza's little feet 
unconsciously beat time. 

" Fm so late, Mr. MacNab, I do love dancing 

" Going now won^t make you any earlier, in 
for a penny, in for a pound. May as well be 
hanged for a sheep as for a lamb ; it's hanging 
either way.'' 

Mrs. Terrier does not press Thyrza to stay, 
for the reason she understands better than Archie 
the misery her remaining so late without her 
husband may eventually lead to, and she also 
understands that Cousin Jemima, having wanted 
the minister for herself, will be only too ready 



to make mischief between Mr. Dods and his 
young wife. So she takes Thyrza to her room 
to put on her wraps, and wishes she might ven- 
ture to ask whether she is happy at the manse 
in the society of her elderly husband. 


ITH pardonable vaiiity_, Thyrza does not 
pin up her skirts ; and having been 
■wrapped in a large shawl^ and made to drink 
some mulled elaret_, she reaches the hall, deco- 
rated with wreaths of evergreens and letters of 
holly sewn on pink calico adorning the walls,, a 
triumph of art invented by Rattray. She says 
good night to the guests, and Mrs. Terrier, 
kissing her warmly, promises to call at the manse 
before long. Terrier is in the hall, working him- 
self into the arms of an Ulster before the stove 

" Have you enough on T' he says, throwing 
over her shoulders a cloak of the furs which line 
the Russian Emperor's mantles, soft as a kiss 
and black as night. " You will not find this too 
heavy to-night. The frost is intense." 

And they go out into the moonlight on to the 
gravel sweep. Outside they can hear the shuffle 


of the dancers^ feet across tlie floor_, the gay- 
laughs and merry voices, and lively music of a 
reel — the reel of Hoolachin, played by Mrs. 
MacNab, celebrated throughout the county for 
her rendering of Scotch dance music and the 
magnificent time she keeps. 

There has been a heavy fall of snow, lasting 
several days, succeeded by a hard frost. The 
woods and mountains, the stacks in the steading, 
and the roofs of the farm-buildings, and the cot- 
tages at the fishing village, and the mossy graves 
in the kirkyard, are glistening white, and are 
strewed with powdered brilliants in the moon- 
beams. The moon hangs in a sky as ^^ darkly, 
deeply, beautifully blue^'' as on the fairest June 
night that ever looked down upon a summer 
world of loveliness and roses ; it shines now upon 
a white world — upon the vast solitary moorland, 
the empty snowy fields stretching far away, the 
silver-coated crags of the Witches Loch, the 
long reach of cliffs and promontories jutting out 
upon the sea, upon the snow-laden pine woods, 
upon the white expanse of earth, marred only in 
its quiet beauty by sheep tracks and the frozen 
footsteps of half-starved- out birds and hares and 
rabbits. The stars are twinkling over the still 
white peaks of the hills. The northern streamers 
shoot upwards to the zenith green and crimson 


scirri^ or pillars of liglit_, transparent as thin 
veins of shadowy gauze_, having a tremulous 
motion^ while through the gleaming translucent 
mist the shining lamps of heaven flash and 
sparkle. To all appearance there is no wind. 
Not a breath disturbs the green pine branches, 
'^ each bearing its burden^^ of snow ; nothing 
stirs the peace of the skeleton boughs of the 
larches and beeches : and yet if you were to 
listen very intently, you might hear a humming, 
humming noise — very gentle, very soft, and very 
soothing — like the dreamy buzz of a spinning- 
wheel. It seems as though the stillness of the 
earth found a voice, and was talking to you. In 
winter, on the quietest night, this humming sound 
is always heard at Carmylie, and it may also be 
heard at Queensmuir. 

^^ What a rate you are walking at, to be sure!^' 
says Terrier ; and he draws her to him, while she 
gathers her dress round her, and wishes she had 
pinned it out of her way ; ^' do you want to get 
rid of me so soon ?" 

'^ No, monsieur, I do not,^' arresting her 
hasty impetuous steps. 

'^ I suppose this will be our last walk together. 
Do you think that you and I shall ever walk 
together again as we are doing now ?" 

" Will not you come back soon ?" she asks. 


and Ferrier places his hand upon hers^ which is 
resting on his arm. 

" No, it is on the cards I shall be away 
fifteen, if not twenty years/'' 

'' Oh, that is a lifetime V 

Fifteen or twenty years without a chance of 
seeing him, years during which she will be living 
or vegetating at the manse, and she does so love 
this man, and has been parted from him by the 
vile scheme and treachery of his sister. The 
thought is unendurable. 

" Should you be sorry if we never met again ?" 
he proceeds, feeling he will not be able to stand 
this much longer without overstepping the bounds 
within which he has sworn to remain. 

" Can you ask me, monsieur V she says re- 
proachfully, in the low, sweet ringing tones 
which had been the first thing he had noticed 
about her when she stood in her old faded 
yellow gown among the strolling players in the 
billiard-room of the Flying Dragon at Villios. 
There is so much in a voice, and Thyrza^s is 
singularly musical. 

Then Ferrier finds he cannot trust himself to 
speak, and they walk without uttering another 
word through the moonlight flooded grey aisles 
of the pine trees, along the path cut out in the 
drifted snow, down the brae to the manse. The 


little fishing village is at rest, only one light 
shines from the window of a cottage wherein a 
woman is walking up and down with a fretful 
infant. The dead in the kirkyard are taking it 
easily too. They do not shiver in the biting 
cold, nor bemoan themselves at the piercingly 
bitter frost, or if they do complain no one hears 
them from their narrow dark resting places 
beneath the soft winding-sheet of snow which 
lies above their pulseless_, nerveless, dreamless 
heads. Many of them have been so long occu- 
pants of the kirkyard that they have grown 
accustomed to their strait abiding places, and 
all changes of the seasons and weather ; and 
even the new comers seem used to the splash of 
the rain on the daisies and grass above them, 
and the rush and ripple of the waves over the 
seaweed and rocks. 

" How soon we have got here V^ says Thyrza, 
pausing at the front door of the manse. 

" Darling, it is very soon, and the worst of it 
is that we have to say good-bye.''-' 

^' And you really are going away ?'^ 

" I have no choice, it^s a case of necessity.''^ 

" Oh, monsieur !" 

^' Come with me, Thyrza, darling,^^ he cries, 
throwing overboard the restraints which had for- 
merly hampered him ; " after all, you were mine 


before you were his. Come with me, dar- 
ling V' 

The temptation is great, almost irresistible. 
She loves him so much, and he loves her as a 
man of his character "just once may love.^^ He 
is going away, perhaps for ever. Had it not been 
for a craftily-invented lie she might have been at 
this time his honourable wife. He has longed for 
her, she sees it in his eyes, hears it in his voice. 
"Weeks before his love was told in words she 
knew it by intuition. She had never altered 
the style of her hair or taken more than ordinary 
trouble with her appearance without seeing the re- 
sult of the effect in the expression of Ferrier^s eyes. 

" Come with me, my own darling,^^ he goes 
on. " You will come ? your silence gives consent. 
Go to Middleby to-morrow by the morning 
train and ask for a sitting-room at Fisher^s 
Hotel, I will come for you there in the after- 
noon. A steamer sails from the East Dock at 
six o'clock p. 31. for Liverpool, and we shall have 
time to see a little of that city before starting for 
China. We shall catch the mail steamer nicely. 
She is lying in one of the dry docks at Birkenhead. 
Sweet one, you will come ?^' 

" I donH know,-*' she stammers, for the temp- 
tation is very strong, and she is hesitating 
between right and wrong, a hesitation which 


cannot do any good,, as wrong can never be 
twisted into right by any amount of reasoning. 
As Addison says^ in his " Cato/' — " When love 
once pleads admission to our hearts (in spite of 
all the virtue we can boast); the woman that 
deliberates is lost/'' 

" You will come T' he whispers^ in his rich 
deep voice^ and the words and accent are 
mightily persuasive to the girl who is so de- 
votedly attached to him, and has been willing to 
give even her life for his sake. 

" 1 should like to, monsieur, but " 

^^ You will come T^ he says again. " What a 
deal of persuasion you take, darling. Is it so 
great a hardship to come with me ? I have 
enough money now for both of us, and by 
heavens ! I can't get on without you.''' Then, 
seeing she has moved to the porch and opened 
the door left unbolted by Tibbie in anticipation 
of the retui'n of her mistress — " In case of 
mistakes or accidents you had better give the 
name of Jones. There are cartloads of Joneses 
in the world, and no one will recognise you 
under that, as they might do under that of 
Dods. I shall ask for Mrs. Jones.'' 

" But what shall I say about going to Mid- 
dleby to-morrow ?" 

^' Say you want to shop. Women always do 


■want to shop, it is quite a valid excuse. Fisher^s 
Hotel is near the East Gate, not far from the 
docks and the railway station. Any one will 
tell you where it is if you ask them.^' 

A certain rap, rap, on the window-pane, as if 
a finger cased in a thimble, or some similar hard 
substance, now comes, and on looking up Ferrier 
and Thyrza perceive a figure in a night-cap, 
holding a candle in her hand — the figure, in 
truth, of Cousin Jemima. The frosty moonlight 
is clear and bright, the dark shadows of the 
manse and kirk fall sharply defined on the snow, 
and Cousin Jemima has no difiiculty in recog- 
nising the ungodly young man who told Thyrza 
she pinned her collars straighter than she did 
formerly. Cousin Jemima^s feelings are so 
greatly roused that it would refresh her con- 
siderably could she pour a jug of cold water on 
the heads of the impious Ferrier and the more 
impious Thyrza, as she had lately done on those 
of the maid-of- all- work and her sweetheart, which 
sweetheart had pestered Cousins Jemima and 
Keren-Happuch until they resolved some despe- 
rate measures should be taken to put a stop to 
such evil courses on the part of the aforesaid 
maid-of- all- work. 

^' Old cat V^ says Ferrier, "you will be out of 
her clutches by to-morrow night/'' 


By this time he understands Thyrza well 
enough to make no attempt to detain her. She 
has not said she will meet him in Middleby, 
neither has she given any such promise^ yet 
Terrier would stake his existence on the hazard 
that she does come. The hours of the evening 
have fled on golden wings to Thyrza ; but to 
the minister and Cousin Jemima, left tete-a-tete 
at the manse, they have revolved on a leaden 
axis. She has not found Mr. Dods nearly so 
pleasant nor so interested in her spiritual con- 
dition now he is a married man. He even 
interrupted her in the middle of a minute de- 
scription of lier religious sensations by wondering 
who would be at the dinner at Carmylie. Surely 
this of itself was sufficient to prove how Thyrza 
had corrupted that man of true piety. Mr. 
Dods had not spent an evening without his wife 
since that of his wedding-day, which had been 
passed by compulsion in the society of the sick old 
woman up the glen, and he misses her dreadfully. 
Cousin Jemima has never bored him so much be- 
fore. He knows all her spiritual peculiarities by 
heart, her way of calling herself a poor, weak, wicked 
woman, that he may contradict her and say she 
is a good pious Christian woman, and to confess 
the honest truth, the minister is heartily tired of 
good Cousin Jemima. To deliver himself from 


her society he pleads the excuse of his cold and 
goes to bed^ not before Cousin Jemima has 
changed from her religious feelings to make 
several remarks on the subject of sensible, dis- 
creet women, and their advantages over young, 
giddy girls. 

Now, every allowance ought to be made for 
Cousin Jemima. Undoubtedly she is good, and 
very exemplary. She has been brought up in 
the most rigid of rigid Calvinistic principles 
such as the ministers of the present day, unless 
in isolated country districts like Carmylie, 
scarcely venture to preach to their congregations. 
She has been taught to believe all amusements, 
especially dancing and theatricals, are truly ob- 
noxious and put forth by Satan. Some indi- 
viduals do not believe in Satan now-a-days. 
Cousin Jemima does. Then she has been in love 
with the minister for years, and such being the 
case is not disposed to be fond of Thyrza. 
Cousin James is so much under the wiles and 
witcheries of this half foreign girl that, poor 
man, he does not see her faults. But Cousin 
Jemima sees them. She has arrived at this 
reflection when Jemima and Tibbie come back 
to say '^ the laird will bring the mistress hame 
himsel ! '* 

Mr. Dods has gone to bed, otherwise Cousin 
VOL. HI. 18 


Jemima would have said something regarding 
her opinions of Thyrza and the laird. As next 
best thing, she scolds Tibbie and Tammas well 
for leaving Carmylie without Thyrza, and on 
going to her bedroom discovers Snap comfort- 
ably curled up at the foot of her bed. Poor 
Snap wonders where he has got to when a rough 
hand pulls him out by the scruff of his neck 
and administers a severe chastisement. The 
little hairy terrier is much surprised at first, the 
only beating he has had before consisting of a 
pocket-handkerchief being carefully drawn across 
his back. As it continues, he howls long and 
dolefully, betaking himself to a mat in the hall 
on the conclusion of his punishment. 

^' He^U not come with dirty paws to my clean 
quilt again in a hurry, I suspect," says Cousin 
Jemima, tying her nightcap strings under her chin. 

When Thyrza comes into the hall after parting 
with Ferrier, Snap trots to meet her, prostrates 
himself on his back, dog-fashion, gets up, wags 
his tail, howls, and prostrates himself again to 
explain in dumb show that he has behaved badly 
and had his deserts. Thyrza catches the little 
bundle of fur in her arms, and goes up to the 
drawing-room, where she knows Cousin Jemima 
is waiting for her. Cousin Jemima is not lovely 
in the daytime when in her newest attire, and 


she is less lovely in her night-cap and corkscrew 
curl-papers. The fire is dead out, and the pretty 
room has assumed that neglected, untidy appear- 
ance which blinds drawn crookedly to the top 
of the windows, the rug kicked up, the chairs 
and tables awry, and nothing in the grate but 
black cinders and white ashes, will so soon impart 
to the prettiest room. 

Cousin Jemima was not going to keep in the 
fire for Cousin Thyrza, wasting Cousin James's 
coals. Thyrza's first action is to put Snap down 
and tidy the room. Cousin Jemima has not 
spoken yet, but she sighs loudly. If there is 
one thing more irritating than another, it is to 
be sighed at. And Cousin Jemima's sigh is an 
excellent specimen of the irritating sigh which is 
enough to drive a man out of his senses. 

"I am Yet J late,'' says Thyrza, having 
reduced the drawing-room to order. Her former 
want of neatness came from no one having 
explained to her the necessity of that quality ; 
" but I could not get away sooner," and she 
pats Snap, who is still endeavouring to make 
her understand he has been ill-treated; ^^he was 
a little dog, he was a nice little dogsy, wogsy, 
poggy, wog.'' 

Cousin Jemima sniffs and delivers herself of 
a groan which appears to pervade her all over. 



It is terrible to hear her sigh_, but it is much 
more terrible to hear her groan. 

'^ Do you know what o^clock it is ? '^ she at 
length condescends to ask. 

^^ About the small hours of the morning/' 
returns Thyrza_, much annoyed at Miss Tod's 
manner in calling her, a married woman, to 
account, and, consequently, determined to annoy 
her in turn. Kind words and gentleness always 
melt Thyrza, but scolding has only the effect of 
rendering her hard as a stone. She will be led, 
but not driven. Cousin Jemima's principle is 
to drive people, not to lead them. She has not 
read the fable of the sun and the old man and 
his cloak. Then Thyrza tries to make an 
excuse for the acid temper of Miss Tod, ^^ We 
had a pleasant evening and acted a charade." 

" Acted ! oh. Cousin Thyrza, and did you 
act ?" 

" To be sure, and great fun it was. I was 
dressed up as an Eastern woman. I wish you 
had been there to see." 

^' But I am thankful I was spared the melan- 
choly sight of beholding the wife of my esti- 
mable Cousin James parading about like a 
merry Andrew, or a going-about body with a 

This is not encouraging. 


^^ I daresay there are as many good people 
among the circus performers as there are among 
people who think themselves much better than 
others/' answers Thyrza, with a provoking accent 
on the word " think/' 

'^ Where will you end, Cousin Thyrza, where 
will you end ?" 

" In bed, I hope, for I am sleepy, and you 
must be so too. I asked that no one might sit 
up in case I should be late.'' 

" Fatigue is nothing in comparison of my 

" What is the matter with you. Snap ?" says 
Thyrza, abruptly. " I'll light your candle for you, 
Cousin Jemima. I told Tibbie to keep a good 
fire for you in your room." 

" Snap is crying because I took the liberty of 
whipping him for lying on my clean quilt," 
returns Cousin Jemima, primming up the corners 
of her mouth. 

" You dared to touch my dog while I was 
away," exclaims Thyrza, her anger rising in 
spite of herself. '' Poor dear little Snap, she 
shan't hurt you again.'' 

" I forgive you. Cousin Thyrza," pursues Miss 
Tod, with lofty superiority. " Your language is 
not becoming, but I forgive you, as you are but 
a young giddy girl, and it is well that you have 


time before you in which to repent of your 

Thyrza bites her lips. She has given no 
promise to Terrier yet_, but she has only to go, 
and the arms of the man she loves will receive 
her. " Come with me, darling/' sounds in her 
ears. Still, she controls her temper, lights a 
candle for Cousin Jemima, investigates the con- 
dition of her fire and the hot bottle, in which 
Tibbie, out, of revenge for the rebuke admi- 
nistered in no measured terms, has contrived to 
undo the cork, so that the contents must have 
run out on the first movement of Cousin Jemima. 
That lady offers to kiss Thyrza, but she declines 
the honour. 

" You don't like me,'" she says, " and I don't 
like you." 

" I shall pray for you. Cousin Thyrza," she 
answers, " and I trust you may be brought to a 
better frame of mind." 

Thyrza makes no reply to Cousin Jemima's 
aspiration, and leaving her, goes to her own 

" Wee-1, Thyrza," says the minister, sleepily, 
" I would have sat up for you, but Cousin 
Jemima became too much for me, and fairly 
drove me to bed. I have been thanking Provi- 
dence for bestowing such an angel as you upon 


me instead of Cousin Jemima. Who was at 
Carmylie T' 

" Lord and Lady George Boggs^ &c." 

" Did they ask after me ?" 

" Oh, everybody did that, and they were dis- 
appointed you were not there." 

" What did you have for dinner T* 

" I don't remember — soups, fish, and so on/' 

^^ Was it a good dinner ?" 

" Very good, indeed. How is your cold ?'' 

" Much better, thanks, dear. I took a tumbler 
of toddy, and went to bed at half-past nine, and 
I think I must have slept until now. Now, 
come to bed, dear, you look pale and tired. 
Late hours do not suit you.'' 

" No, I do not think they do." 

The minister is soon asleep and snoring, but 
Thyrza is too agitated and restless to close her 
eyes. She lies awake listening to every hour 
striking, and sees the silver moonbeams creep 
from bar to bar of the window until " the moon 
sets, and the dark comes over all." 


delighted to 

" Cousin Helena will be 
If the gig would hold more than two 

OU will stay the night at the Bank^ dear/"* 
says Mr. Dods^ wrapping a thick rug 
round Thyrza and Cousin Jemima in the gig, 
while admiring groups of fishwives and small 
urchins stand looking on at a respectful distance 
from the wicket-gate leading into the manse 
see you 

persons I should have accompanied you to Mid- 
dleby. As it is, good Cousin Jemima will favour 
you with her society during the journey. Pre- 
sent my sympathy to Aunt Kezia, Cousin Je- 
mima. It is indeed a sad affliction of Pro- 
vidence, but the ways of Providence are in- 

" I will do so, Cousin James.^^ 

" You will return with your excellent sister in 
the summer and pay a longer visit, I trust, as 
this one has been so untimeously cut short/' 


pursues the minister. " Let us hope Aunt 
Kezia will yet be spared to watch over her 
family many years. Hers is a valuable life, 
very valuable/' 

" Very valuable/' agrees Cousin Jemima. 
She always agrees with Mr. Dods on principle, 
partly from opposition to Thyrza, who does not 
scruple to acknowledge when her thoughts are 
not as Mr. Dods's thoughts, and defends her 
opinions when they differ from his, with warmth 
and enthusiasm. However, Cousin Jemima is 
beginning to repent of having called Thyrza a 
young giddy girl, and determines that whatever she 
may think she will confine her ideas to herself for 
the future. The sight of the comfortable break- 
fast table and Thyrza's perfect politeness, have 
convinced her that the manse will make very snug 
summer quarters, without the drawback of having 
to pay anything for the lodgings ; but if she 
calls Thyrza giddy and frivolous she cannot 
expect many more invitations from her cousin's 
wife. She is not unobserving, and she sees that 
Thyrza's power over the minister is unlimited, 
and that if she chooses to complain of Cousin 
Thyrza there will be no invitations to the manse 
from henceforth even for ever. 

^' Cousin Thyrza seems tired," she says, 
amiably, in pursuance of this new idea. " But, 


doubtless^ the fresh air and the drive through 
the glen will invigorate her/^ 

" If she does not catch cold/^ answers Mr. 
DodS; anxiously. '^ She is very subject to a 
cough and sore throat in damp weather. The 
air is dry to-day^ at any rate. My dear, should 
to-morrow not be fine, you must hire a close 
carriage from the Carmylie Arms, at which inn 
you will put u^ the gig and pony, and Rattray 
will get a lift out here in it, as it will be his 
day for walking to the post. How very shabby 
the paint is getting ! It must be painted before 
the summer, or else I think I will get you a 
basket carriage. They are not expensive, and 
can be got pretty cheap. Now, dear, remember 
about the close carriage .''' 

" Ye-s,^' returns Thyrza, hesitatingly. She is 
a very bad actress, and had Mr. Dods been a 
little sharper he must have seen there is some- 
thing weighing on her mind. She has not 
attempted to argue with herself; about Ferrier 
she could not argue. She has told herself he is 
her fate, and she is going. But she does not 
feel so happy at the thought of being with him 
always as she imagined she would do. Anything 
underhand or deceitful is peculiarly abhorrent to 
her naturally open, upright nature, and half the 
pleasure is already gone in being forced to con- 


descend to the part she despises and detests — of 
hypocrisy and untruth. In her own estimation 
she has sunk very low. But still she is going. 
If Mr. Dods only knew that she is not feeling 
very well either this morning from the effects of 
the excitement of the evening before, coupled 
with a wakeful night and the uneasiness of her 
mind^ he would have insisted on her remaining 
at the manse. Mr. Dods has never forgotten 
that in a great measure he compelled her to 
marry him, and the recollection of this causes 
him to be more generous and indulgent in 
gratifying her wishes than he might otherwise 
have been. 

" You will be home, dear^ by daylight to- 
morrow. I should not be happy about you 
unless you were.^'' 

Thyrza can scarcely make reply, for by to- 
morrow she and Ferrier will be sailing away 
over the sea together. 

" Cousin Jemima will kindly let me know how 
Aunt Kezia is/^ adds Mr. Dods, having tucked 
both ladies comfortably up in the gig and tied a 
" cloud^' of scarlet and white wool round his 
wife's head. " A pleasant journey to you both. 
Remember about the close carriage, my dear; 
stop a moment, Thyrza — dear me, Toby is 
quite frisky — as you are going to Middleby 


you can take my gold spectacles with you to the 
jeweller's. One of the glasses has come out and 
wants putting in again/' 

Mr. Dods fetches his spectacles and would fain 
have stood to watch the gig out of sight had 
not the morning been so bitterly cold that his 
feet are nearly frozen with standing on the snow 
while assisting Thyrza and Cousin Jemima into 
the gig, so he returns to the parlour, and esta- 
blishing himself in front of the fire, decides an 
animated dispute between the black cat and the 
terrier, in which the last is getting the worst of 
it, and then settles to an uninterrupted morning's 
work at the " Antiquities of Carmylie.'^ 

Cousin Jemima talks volubly to Thyrza with a 
view towards reconciliation and more visits at 
the manse, of the illness of Aunt Kezia, the 
number of children she has, the probabilities of 
the frost continuing longer, and recommends 
Thyrza to take out a stock of provisions with her 
from Queensmuir, as when the thaw comes the 
road through the glen will be completely im- 
passable for weeks. 

Driving through the glen is not so cold as 
might have been expected. There is no wind, 
but " mares' tails " blown across the sky into 
white fine threads predict a gale is not far off. 
The glen is divine in its white clothing of regal 


ermine, too dazzlingly bright in the sunshine for 
the eye to rest upon with much pleasure. The 
pine-trees are powdered witli frozen snow, the 
withered tawny brackens peering out at the sides 
of the scaurs are sheathed in armour of ice ; here 
and there a few feathers on the snow give mute 
pathetic evidence that a murder has been com- 
mitted on a moor fowl or coot by some rapacious 
hungry fox. Nevertheless Thyrza and Cousin 
Jemima think twelve miles of this quite sufficient, 
as the foot-warmer in the gig is cold, and they 
are both rather stiff from sitting so long. They 
are not sorry when the gig rattles down the 
steep brae called the Roods Street into Queen^- 
muir. The clock in the town-house is point- 
ing to 10.20 as Thyrza pulls up Toby at the' 
Bank door. 

"There is Cousin Thyrza V' exclaims Tom to 
Tertius, " Tm going out to speak to her. Mr. 
Jardine, I don^t feel all right to-day/"' 

'^ What's the matter ?'' asks the accountant, 

" Fve got awful toothache in a big double 
tooth, left side, under jaw. Can I go to the 
chemist^s for a bottle of creosote.'''' 

" If you don't stay more than ten minutes you 

Tom goes out through the red swing doors, 


muttering, ^' That fellow would run a mile for a 
farthing, and skin a flint for a red herring/' 

" Hallo, Cousin Jemima, I thought you were 
to be at the manse for the next month V* 

" Thomas, Providence has otherwise in tended/'' 

'' Oh, blow ! I say. Cousin Thyrza, aren''-t you 
going to speak to me T' 

" We have not a minute to lose/' exclaims 
Miss Tod_, looking at the town-clock. " Tell 
Cousin Helena that Cousin Thyrza will spend 
the night at the Bank. My dear, you had for- 
gotten to mention it. I am glad I remembered. 
Thomas, will you follow us to the station, and 
please be so good as to bring up Tobias and the 
gig to the C army lie Arms ?" 

Tobias shows signs of preferring to enter the 
stableyard of the inn, and is with some difficulty 
made to trot to the station. It happens to be 
a great cattle market in Queensmuir, the last of 
the season, and the station is filled with farmers, 
drovers, and cattle-dealers. Droves of sheep and 
herds of cattle are being driven and hustled about 
in all directions, and the confusion is great. 
Miss Tod never thought to be grateful to the 
irreverent Tom for anything, but she is extremely 
thankful to behold his impertinent nez retrousse 
and shock head. He gets the tickets for herself 
and Thyrza, delivers her from rushing into the 


smoking compartment, and storms at the guard 
until that functionary provides them with a hot 
tin. Ferrier will leave Queensmuir by a later 
train. Cousin Jemima goes straight to Aunt 
Kezia, when they arrive at Middleby; so 
Thyrza will soon be quit of her. She will take 
Mr. Dods^s spectacles to the watchmaker,, and 
then go to risher''s Hotel, there to wait for 
Terrier. In an hour-and-a-half they are in 
Middleby. Cousin Jemima parts from Thyrza 
with an affectionate farewell, the affection of 
which Thyrza does not notice owing to her pre- 
occupied mmd. Mr. Dods^s spectacles being 
disposed of at the watchmaker^s, she inquires the 
way to the hotel where Ferrier has told her to 
wait for him. It is close to the docks, not very 
inviting-looking, being somewhat grimy in its 
exterior, and as Thyrza subsequently finds, not 
much better in its internal arrangements. It 
may be her imagination, but she fancies the 
woman to whom she makes known her request 
eyes her oddly when she mentions that a gentle- 
man — here she is rather at a loss, for Ferrier has 
not said what name he will take — will call in the 
course of the afternoon, and she finally desig- 
nates him as Mr. Jones. She has bungled in 
giving her own name, first saying Dods and then 
Jones. Had she known the woman is an elder 


sister of Tibbie's, employed as a cbambermaid at 
Fisher's Hotel, she would not have been so much 
surprised. She declines having any refreshment 
for the present, and Tibbie's sister leaves her to 
go back to her work. It will be some time 
before Ferrier can possibly come, so by way of 
beguiling the monotony of waiting, she makes a 
tour of the room containing the invariable steel 
engravings and ornaments to be found in an 
hotel of its stamp. 

There are the shades of wax flowers and wax 
gooseberries, and strawberries, and green peas, 
on the mantelpiece, always to be seen in a 
second-rate hotel ; the flash mirrors and gilt 
velvet furniture, which somehow seems to haunt 
such places, the smell of mouldy cheese, and 
departed dinners that have left tokens of their 
existence in the thick dusty hangings. Not 
that Fisher's is a bad hotel for Middleby ; but 
for a large manufacturing city, that town is 
singularly destitute of clean, well-managed 
hotels. Then there is the picture of the Queen 
in her coronation robes ; a portrait of Prince 
Albert ; the Four Seasons, consisting of four 
simpering women, with appropriate emblems of 
the seasons they are supposed to represent; 
" Noah Off'ering up Sacrifice after leaving the 
Ai'k ;" and the '' Day of Judgment."" Before 


long Thyrza has grown familiarized with the 
aspect of Noah, and his sons — Shem, Ham, and 
Japheth, and she could nearly have reproduced 
with closed eyes the various figures collected 
round the Sacrifice. The last picture is almost 
too dreadful for calm contemplation, and she 
walks up and down the room with hasty irregular 
steps to keep herself warm. There is a fire, but 
it has only been recently kindled, and it smokes 
more than it burns. Few things are more 
trying than a lengthened period of waiting 
at either a railway station or an hotel, espe- 
cially if the person waiting has anything to be 
anxious about. To begin with, it is so dreary to 
wait among strangers; and the rooms provided 
for the weary traveller — weary perhaps both in 
mind and body — are so very dismal. The time 
seems to hang heavy do what one will, the 
minutes are hours and the moments minutes. 

Thyrza, not a patient mortal at any time, 
becomes more and more impatient as the hour 
fixed for the arrival of Terrier's train passes 
without bringing him. Tired of walking about, 
she takes up her position at one of the windows. 
Surely he will come, after all his professions and 
promises. No one is such an ingenious self- 
torturer as a jealous man or a woman very much 
in love. Numbers of suspicions and doubts 

VOL. III. 19 


cross her niind as she looks out upon the sailors 
belonging to a jute vessel unloading the cargo 
with laugh and song, the pier extending a 
quarter of a mile into the sea and the decorated 
arch known as the Queen^s Arch,, Middleby, 
looks grey and dirty. It is only in the country 
that snow is beautiful. Its dainty whiteness is 
soon despoiled, trodden under foot, and spattered 
with mud and smuts. In Middleby, it is out of 
its element among the traffic^ and business, and 
smoke, of houses, and almost countless factories, 
and steamers ; and very wretched and forlorn 
and deplorable it is, as the feet of men and 
horses trample it into slush. 

" Mr. Jones/'' announces the maid who has 
stared so hard at Thyrza, and who is the sister of 
Tibbie, the minister's servant. She looks at 
Terrier as she has looked at Thyrza. It is, 
however, no business of hers, and she closes the 
door without remark. 

^' So you have come, darling \" is Terrier's 
exclamation, on seeing Thyrza. " I scarcely 
dared to ask the question whether Mrs. Jones 
were here or not. The train was late, my pet, 
which accounts for the delay. Have you had 
long to wait ?" and for the next moment Thyrza 
feels as if she were well repaid for all she has 


undergone this wearisome day, and for all she is 
giving, by the mere fact of his presence. 

" I have not failed jon/' she says. 

" Well, about going by the steamer. The 
■weather looks stormy, and I think we had better 
go by the mail to Liverpool. I have secured a 
through-carriage for ourselves, first class ; and 
then you can lie down and rest. I must be 
very careful of my precious one now I have got 
her. What would you like to do until the 
train starts ? We have nearly an hour and three- 
quarters yet.^' 

^^ I should like to go out, monsieur. I am so 
cold. I cannot get warm. The room is so 
close and stuffy, too." 

'^ So it is. You are very cold. I don't 
think it will do you any good to go out in this 
raw chill air.'' 

'^ The air seems to stifle me." 

" It is a horrid little place. Well, darling, 
we'll go out then and walk about a bit; and 
we'll get some dinner afterwards at the dining- 
rooms, where I dined on the day of Gow's trial." 

Accordingly, Ferrier summons the waiter to 
pay the hotel account ; and having done so, he 
and Thyrza pass a landing on which Tibbie's 
sister and one of the waiters are standing. 

19— :^ 


'' Is it no a peety ?^' the woman says. " She 
is but a lassie^ and she disna ken what she is 
doing. A woman can buy everything but an 
honest name, and it^s nae doot it^'s a hard thing 
tae gie the go-by tae yer sweetheart.'''' 

Terrier cannot help hearing the observation, 
and he can only trust that Thyrza has not heard 
it likewise. 

" Where would you like to walk, darling T' 
he asks, with redoubled tenderness. 

" We shall not meet many people on the pier, 
shall we^' 

" No, I think not.'^ And to the pier they take 
their way, underneath the Queen^s Arch. 

The river looks cold and dreary enough with 
its leaden opaque expanse of water and dull 
patches of wet sand, gradually filling up with 
the incoming tide ; but the west is a blaze of 
red gold shot across by ragged black clouds. 
Against the grandeur of the wild stormy sunset 
stand out the great masts of the jute merchant- 
men, the dark rakish funnels of steamers, the 
pulleys and windlasses, and cranes, and stray 
engines sent adrift to drag along heavy burdens 
to the docks ; and gigantic chimneys, seeming as 
if they would fain rival the tower of Babel in 
height ; and rising over the huge manufacturing 
city is the smoke from thousands and hundreds 


of thousands of households above which the 
crimson banner of parting day looms lurid and 
ominous through the murky misty atmosphere. 

Ferrier and Thyrza walk a little beyond the 
first turning of the pier, and in a moment they 
are away from the bustle and noise and hum of 
the men working at the docks, and the tumult 
of human life in the busy crowded streets. 

" How very curiously the people in the hotel 
looked at us, monsieur !" says Thyrza. 

''That is exactly what I want to avoid/' 
answers Ferrier, his thoughts recurring to that 
'' confoundedly impudent^' woman. " When we 
are clear of England we shall be out of all 

''All what, monsieur?" 

" Oh, nothing, darling," alarmed by a change 
in her tone. " I think we will try another hotel 
and have dinner there. There must be some better 
places in Middleby than Fisher's. It may be 
romantic here, but it is cold, and we have a 
long journey before us, and I should like you to 
get thoroughly warm." 

" There was something, monsieur " 

" I wish to heavens we were out of Scotland," 
he answers, evasively. " I should not care for 
the whole universe then." 

" Oh, I understand," she cries, " people will 


talk and say dreadful tilings. And perhaps you 
will not like it, and I shall have brought it all upon 
you. Oh, monsieur, monsieur, I never thought 
of it in that light. All I thought of was that I 
should be with you, and we should never be 
parted again. I never thought of it like that."*^ 

" Don^t think of it like that now," he says 
vehemently, " sweet one." 

" I cannot go with you, monsieur," she goes 
on, " Mr. Dods would break his heart. You see 
I did not know, I did not think — I " 

*^ But you don''t think anything of breaking 
my heart. Thyrza, you don^t love me." 

^' I do, monsieur, you know I do. No, you 
don't know, you never can know how I love 

" And yet you go from me to let me live my 
life alone. It has not been such a happy one 
that I can afford to lose my only earthly treasure. 
If you knew how I have planned and dreamt 
how we should live for each other, and how I 
would work for you, I think you would have a 
little pity and mercy for me." 

His words touch her warm heart as he means 
they should touch her. Will she be able to 
resist his fervent pleading? She is only a girl, 
and a girl so constituted as to be entirely led by 
her affections. 


" Darlinsr Monsieur Jack- 

" Then I am your darling. Oh, Thyrza, you 
will not surely fail me at the last moment.^^ 

*^ Monsieur Jack_, I love you with my whole 
heart, thou knowest it, but I must go home to 
my manse. You love me now/^ returning to 
English, the French tutoyer is, however, most 
familiar to her, '^ but think if you did marry me, 
my beauty, such as it is, might fade, and you 
would weary of me, and you are of a jealous 
disposition ; you might think when I talked with 
other men, ' Ah, so she laughed and talked with 
me.^ '' 

" Look at me, Thyrza, darling/^ 

He has got his arms round her, for they are 
alone— they two — with the great waste of waters 
before them and no living creature near but a 
couple of Mother Carey's chickens riding trium- 
phantly on a " white horse'' about to break on 
the stone wall of the pier ; she turns her face to 
his, and the red light from the sunset falls on 
her soft pale cheeks and dark eyes. " And 
besides," she proceeds, rapidly, " you think so 
much of honour that there would be always the 
stain upon me of having left Mr. Dods for 


*' No, no, I should never think so," he breaks 
in, but she interrupts him, continuing — 


^^ You would not tell me though you thought 
so^ yet I might often fancy that was in your 
mind_, and your pity and the loss of your respect 
would kill me. It has all come upon me like 
one flash of lightning. You will be a great rich 
merchant yet^ Monsieur Jack_, and you will forget 
me and marry some one else.^^ 

^^If you leave me I shall go straight to the 
devil,'^ he answers^ turning pale almost to the 
lips under the bronze of his dark skin. 

" No, monsieur^, you will be a good man. In 
reality you love good things best. It is only 
your way of talking which makes one think you 
are black.^^ 

" Thyrza, I can't let you go, my love, my life, 
my soul, my salvation/'' and he locks his arms 
more tightly round her, " darling, we shall be so 
happy in China. When I am with you I am in 
heaven. You have shown me what a woman can 
be if she likes. '^ 

" Oh, God, give me strength to go,'' she cries, 
rallying all her energies and courage. " Oh, mon- 
sieur, help me. I want to come, but don't beg 
me to any more. I am pleading against my 
happiness, but what kind of happiness can that 
be which has not the blessing of God? How 
could I ask for a blessing upon either of us? 


If you loved me^ if you do love me^ you will let 
me go." 

" As you are so anxious to get away from me 
I will let you go," lie says. " Go then from 
me, Thyrza, but go quickly, if you are going. 
I shall not say good-bye to you ; I can^t," and 
he pushes her from him. 

She has not gone three steps away before he 
is again beside her. 

" Oh, my darling, don't be afraid of me ; I'm 
not going to keep you against your will. I was 
never good enough for you, sweet one. Forgive 
me, will you ? Kiss me, darling. No woman's 
lips will again press mine, and there are no 
kisses in heaven, where you will be, while I am 
down, down in the place below. We shall never 
meet again in this world." 

" Oh, monsieur, don't, don't say that," she 
exclaims, and Ferrier with a mad burst of passion 
and wild longing seizes her supple, slender waist 
and covers her hands, her lips, her eyes, her hair, 
with kisses. He still holds her, deaf to her 
entreaties and remonstrances, and showers a 
thousand kisses on her pale face and her brown 
throat. And she — she does not struggle in his 
grasp. In the fiery light of the stormy sunset 
she is very white — deadly, deathly white. He 


turns her face to his and gazes at her as though 
he would never leave off gazing. He is learning 
every feature by hearty to remember when he is 
once more in China at his house Sans Souci up 
the Yang-tse-Kiang. 

^•' Is it to be good-bye^Thyrza?'^ he asks^ huskily, 
when they have parted and he has once more 
followed on her steps. They are now near the 
fleets of jute vessels, and whalers, and the myriad 
masts and masses of rigging. Lights are shining 
at numerous mastheads and the red sunset is 
fading into a dull glare. His hand is on her 
shoulder, and as she looks into the bronzed face 
she has loved better than life the girPs reso- 
lution almost fails her. Hundreds of women 
have run away and married the men with whom 
they have run away, and brazened it out before 
the world, and society has glossed it over par- 
tially ; but it is revolting to Thyrza to do any- 
thing which it may be necessary to brazen out. 
And, to an extent, she has judged Terrier rightly 
in saying, when he saw her with other men he 
might doubt her ; the first flush of passion over, 
he might have looked on the wives of other men 
and thought that they had not been won under 
such circumstances. The very fact of Ferrier's 
having been a fast man makes him all the more 
particular regarding his womenkiud, and it was 


Thyrza's perfect truthfulness, her lack of vanity^ 
and her innocence which had fascinated him at 

" Is it indeed good-bye, darling ?" he repeats. 

" Yes/'' she says, faintly. 

" Good-bye for ever is it V 

" Yes/^ she answers, still more faintly. 
" Don^t ask me to stay, monsieur. God knows 
how I long to go with you. I can talk no 
more, and " 

She does not finish the sentence, but breaks 
away from him and is presently entangled among 
the people walking in the streets, and in the 
gathering darkness her slight figure is soon out of 
sight. He follows her as rapidly as possible, 
and reaches the station just in time to see a girl 
in a dark grey linsey gown and black cloak 
hastily assisted into a train which is already in 
motion. On making inquiries of a guard he is 
informed that it is the last train for that night 
to Queensmuir. He stands watching the shower 
of sparks flying like fiery stars among the grey 
filmy smoke left behind in great volumes by the 
engine until the train can be seen no longer, 
and then with a heavy sigh he turns away to get 
his ticket at the booking-ofi&ce for Liverpool. 
Much as he has loved and does love Thyrza, 
perhaps he has never loved her so much as at 


this moment^ when he has seen the last of her 
on this side the grave^, nor perhaps even on the 
night she saved his life at the risk of her own 
did he admire her more than he now does, when 
of her own free will she has renounced the future 
which lay before her with him to return to the 
humdrum, dull existence at the manse. 

" Smart work, that/' observes a supercilious, 
young Middleby dandy in the same carriage as 
Thyrza, who has noticed her hurried eJBPort to 
catch the train. 

c( Very smart/' answers an equally " swelF' 
young lady, applying the remark to herself. 

The train thunders along through the open 
country and dusky sombre pine woods, the 
orange-red light flashing among the russet trunks 
and drooping branches. Here and there cot- 
tages with the evening lamps lit, cheerful and 
bright in the gloaming, are visible at the foot of 
some upland moor or crouching by a sheltering 
plantation, or bordering an empty, clean-swept 
harvest-field. Onwards to Queensmuir the train 
steams, farther and farther from Terrier and 
nearer and nearer to Mr. Dods and Carmylie. 


IS^lHE small old-fashioned Scotch town of 
l^^l Queensmuir is looking its best in the 
dim light of the gloaming, the plain features of 
its wynds and closes,, not very pleasant places to 
persons possessing sensitive » olfactory nerves^ being 
hidden by the carpet of snow. The lintels of 
the windows of the red sandstone houses^ the 
blue slate roofs, the hands of the clock in the 
town-house, and the tail of the gilt dragon on 
the kirk steeple, are crusted white. Between 
the pinnacles of the town-house and the ancient 
dwellings next the graveyard^ half buried in the 
earth, the accumulated dust of countless genera- 
tions, are visible one or two sharp-pointed 
mountain peaks and dark pine forests. Queens- 
muir is en fete. The shops are brilliantly illu- 
minated to show off the new goods and finery 
for the festivities of the new year, the Scotch 


carnival, when the people go in en masse for 
making themselves ill with eating and drinking. 

In front of the Bank there is a glorious slide, 
a slide of slides, smooth as glass, without a rough 
place in it, extending from the British Jute 
Company to the Carmylie Arms. It has been 
carefuUy fostered by the unremitting attention 
of Tom Hislop and a watering-can. Several 
individuals have already fallen victims to the 
treacherous slipperiness of this slide, to the over- 
whelming joy of the small boys and the very 
moderate delight of the aforesaid afflicted ones. 
They have risen, rubbed themselves, and uttered 
many awful threats of future dread consequences. 
On this slide, Tom Hislop and a number of boys 
and girls are enjoying themselves. The frost is 
giving way in the immediate neighbourhood of 
the houses, and occasionally some loosened snow 
thunders from the roofs on to the pavement with 
a noise like a miniature avalanche, covering the 
foot passengers with a gratis j though ungrateful, 

" Cousin Thyrza V says Tom, joyfully, extri- 
cating himself from a heap of struggling fallen 
companions and a mass of snow. '^ Mother will 
be pleased to see you, and Robertina is bursting to 
ask what you think of her new winter bonnet." 

" I am going home to-night, Tom,'' repKes 


Tliyrza, putting her hand on his jacket 

" Oh, you can't,, every one will be so disap- 
pointed, and there's Tertius has written a splendid 
charade in blank verse, word Hallowe'en, and he 
wants you to take the heroine's part, and we're 
going to give a hop next week for the clients ; 
only think, a ball at the Bank !" 

" Tom, will you get the gig for me from the 
Carmylie Arms ? The inn is full of farmers, and 
I don't like to go to the landlord myself." 

Even the boy is struck by the tone of utter hope- 
lessness and sadness in her voice. He admires 
" Cousin Thyrza " in the way many a lad of his 
age admires a young and pretty married woman, 
while entertaining the most profound and lofty 
contempt for all other women, especially that 
maligned class of bipeds, old maids. 

" It's going to snow like fury," objects Tom ; 
" Cousin James would take off my head if you 
were allowed to drive to Carmylie to-night." 

" You must make my apologies to Cousin 
Helena, I can't come to the Bank, Tom. Don't 
try to find out why — I can't. I should be very 
bad company, and would only spoil your merry 

With instinctive delicacy Tom does not press 
the matter further. Rough and rude as he often 


is to Cousins Jemima and Keren- Happuch^ his 
pet aversions^ he is always the acme of deferential 
politeness to Mrs. Dods. The gig and Toby- 
brought out, he fastens the apron in front for 
Thyrza, and as he does so he says — 

" Is it anything connected with that old skin- 
flint, Cousin Jemima, which has bothered you ?'' 

" No/^ answers Thyrza, " youVe been a very 
good boy, Tom," detaching a little locket from 
her watch-chain. *^ I heard you say the other 
day you wanted a locket and could not afford to 
buy one. Keep it until your lady-love gives 
you a better.^' 

" My ! it is a beauty ; like yourself and no 
mistake,^^ stammers Tom. 

" Good night,^^ says Thyrza, gathering up the 
reins, and preparing to set off through the kirk 

^' I say, Cousin Thyrza, have you had any tea ?'' 

'' No.'^ 

'' Did you get any grub in Middleby ?" 

" No, I did not feel hungry.^-* 

" That^s Cousin Jemima^s little game. She^s 
the greatest miser that ever lived. FU be back 
before you can say Jack Robinson,^' and he dis- 
appears into the inn, returning almost as quickly 
as he has said with a smoking hot cup of tea and 
a plate of bread-and-butter. 


^'Good night, now. Cousin Thyrza/^ lie con- 
tinues, when she has finished the tea, the bread 
she cannot swallow. '^ As you drive away think 
of poor me catching it on all sides because I 
did not insist on your coming in." 

"Thank you, Tom, you are very kind," she 
replies, " I am sure I shall think of you." 

" Shan't I get a jobation, that's all ?" he ex- 
claims, taking a short run and a long slide, 
while Thyrza puts Toby into a jog-trot and 
drives out of the kirk wynd into the 

There ought to have been a moon according 
to the calendar, but owing to unforeseen cloudy 
circumstances over which she has no control, 
she will not shine to-night. Toby knows he is 
going home and trots along gallantly, thinking 
of the corn and hay and comfortable stall at the 
manse stable. It had begun to snow pretty 
heavily before Thyrza left Queensmuir, and by 
the time she has got over a couple of miles of 
ground a storm of wind and mingled snow and 
rain has arisen. She never thinks of turning 
back to Queensmuir, which would have been 
her best plan, as there are still ten miles 
between herself and Carmylie; it seems to 
her she can find no peace until she has told 
Mr. Dods all her story, and when he does hear 

VOL. III. 20 


it she believes he will not be so very angry 
with her. 

Past the avenue gates and trim lodges of 
Lillieshill she goes^ over the old grey bridge of 
the Bogg, where Terrier and she had sat and 
discoursed in the sweet summer time^ the smoke 
of the mill curling up above the bare branches 
of the ash trees^ whose future leaves are snugly 
housed in black buds against the winter^s storms 
and blasts. The Bogg ripples over its pebbly 
sandstone bed^ and the speckled trout — its 
tenants — rejoice the fishing season is ended, so 
that they can swim to and fro without the risk of 
being conveyed to a sphere where water does not 
abound. The naked snow-clad branches of the 
trees look weird and ghostly as Thyrza drives 
past them round a turning which takes her away 
from the cultivated land into the country of 
heather and hills and peatmosses. 

The wind meets the gig and its occupant with 
no loving embrace^ blowing down from the frozen, 
snowy slopes of the Witches Law, sending the 
snow right in Thyrza''s face, nearly blinding her 
and stinging her skin like nettles. Scarcely a 
glimpse of mountain or moorland is visible, only 
the piles of huge white wreaths or drifts at the 
side where the brae has descended to the road. 
A thick grey cloud stretches all round, and the 


fast-falling snow renders it darker than it else 
would have been. Long ago the red sunset has 
died out_, and to Thyrza it appears as though she 
will never reach Carmylie. 

The wind blows in fitful tempestuous gusts, 
obliging Thyrza sometimes to halt for a few 
minutes to rest stumpy, broad-backed Toby, who 
begins to feel the journey homewards very long 
indeed. Twice she gets out of the gig to knock 
the balled snow from the pony^s hoofs. The 
sensible animal holds up first one hoof and then 
another without requiring to be told, and then 
he jogs on again over the moor among the 
heather. While the road, or rather the beaten 
track answering to that name, for there are no 
proper roads in Kilniddryshire, wound up to the 
clouds, ascending a hill and down to the depths 
of the valley below, Thyrza had no trouble in 
keeping the gig in the ruts made by other 
vehicles; but as the evening grows later and 
darker, merging into night, she can no longer 
see her way. To her dread and consternation, 
she finds herself near unfamiliar landmarks and 
Toby is getting very tired. He is unable to trot 
on the softening snow and proceeds along slowly 
and wearily. The air is raw and cold, piercing 
to the bones under the thickest clothing. The 
snow falls steadily, evenly, thickly, the flakes 



covering Tliyrza until she is fairly whitened^ while 
Toby^s back and ears, and mane and harness^ are 
lodgings for the flakes. Thyrza tries backwards^ 
forwards, slantways ; to all injunctions from 
whip or reins Toby refuses compliance, and de- 
liberately lies down on the snow. Thyrza jumps 
out of the gig, trying to rouse him. The wind 
is bitter and cutting ; but while her hands are 
so cold she can scarcely hold the reins, and her 
feet without any feeling in them, her head seems 
on fire, and the desolate moorland appears to 
swim before her. " God grant I may keep my 
senses until I get home,"*' she entreats, as 
she kneels on the snow beside Toby, and at 
length he consents to rise from his recumbent 
position. He gives a little whining of content 
and recognition and sets off more rapidly 
than he has done before. Thyrza lays the 
reins loosely on his back, and to her relief she 
soon perceives from the easy movement of the 
gig that she is once more on the road, and 
not far from the avenue gates and pine avenue 
of Carmylie. 

Through the whole long drive she has not met 
a single living creature. A very few minutes more 
bring her to the wicket-gate of the manse 
garden. Toby has no objection to stand still 
after his exertions. Tibbie has not bolted the 


door yet or else has forgotten to do so, and 
Thyrza_, without pausing to shake off the 
snow, enters the parlour. Mr. Dods is not yet 
in bed_, and looks up in speechless amazement at 
seeing his wife standing before him. He is 
writing at a table near the fire, which is burning 
brightly, a brass kettle is within the fender, and 
a tumbler of toddy, from which Mr. Dods 
from time to time has taken a sip, is on the 
little shelf beside the mantelpiece. Peter lies in 
undisturbed possession of the arm-chair, and 
Snap rolled into a furry ball is at his feet. This 
is very simple and very quiet ; but to Thyrza 
there is a great charm in its unpretending home- 

'^ How beautiful you are looking, Thyrza V 
exclaims Mr Dods, leaning back in his chair, 
and pushing off his spectacles with an irresistible 
outburst of admiration of his wife. 

The lamp sheds a warm soft light on her dark 
divine-impassioned eyes and brown crimsoning 
cheeks, and the snow flakes which have settled 
among the heavy, loosened braids of her hair 
begin to melt into diamond dewdrops of water 
from the heat of the room and shine like pendent 

" My dear, it was most imprudent of you to 
drive through the glen on such a dreadful night 


of snow and rain/' says the minister^ a little 

Thyrza tries to answer; but lier voice dies 
within her_, and it is not until she has made 
several attempts to speak that she recovers con- 
trol over itj and even then it is very hoarse and 

•'^Poor Toby is standing at the gate, Mr. 

"Then I will stable him up for the night. 
My dear, I fear, I very much fear, that you have 
endangered your health by this drive. Had I 
known I should have been extremely uneasy 
concerning your safety/' dislodging Peter uncere- 
moniously from the arm-chair, which he places 
in front of the fire for his wife. " Your hands 
are like ice and your feet the same, I suppose." 

" I wanted to come to you,'' she answered, 
sitting down in the chair. 

" Did you really, Thyrza ?" he says, earnestly, 
gratified beyond the expression of words. '' I 
only trust you will be none the worse of the 
prolonged exposure to the bitter cold and night 
air. Your throat is so delicate that you cannot 
take too much care of it. I will put Toby into 
the stable and come to you, my dear, before 
many minutes are over." 

The minister takes Toby to the stable and 


rubs him down, gives him a warm mash for his 
sapper and locking the door goes back to the 
manse. Thyrza has retired to rest. From being 
deadly cold the whole day, her numbed limbs 
have recovered their circulation, and she is in a 
burning fever of heat. Her throat pains her 
whenever she tries to swallow or to speak, and 
it is with the utmost difficulty she can draw a 
deep breath. 

" Thyrza dear, I have brought you some 
supper," setting a small tray on the bed, and 
wrapping a red dressing-gown round her. " Are 
you quite well?'' taking her little hand and 
feeling her pulse. He is horrified at the rapidity 
of the beats. 

'*^0h yes," she replies, every word costing 
her great pain in the pronunciation. " I was 
cold, but I am hot now. Mr. Dods, I ought 
not to have gone to Middleby ; it was my fault, 
all my fault," she ends, incoherently. 

They are the last sensible words she says for 
hours. The minister does not go to bed that 
night but hangs over her distracted and almost 
beside himself with agony at hei sufferings, which 
he can do so little to alleviate. The pain is 
evidently in her throat, and she speaks seldom. 
Towards morning she is no better. She has 
received a severe chill. And Mr. Dods, while 


hoping it is only a bad feverish cold, cannot 
prevent himself from dreading the worst. 

The morning brings no abatement in the 
storm of wind and rain^ the snow having been 
beaten in the contest, and the glen is now com- 
pletely impassable, from the melting snow, for 
either man or beast. It has been a wild night 
at sea, too. A sloop has been wrecked not far 
from Carmylie harbour, and the crew drowned. 
Fragments of the wreck are cast up on the 
beach by the angry waves. Dead poultry, rab- 
bits, bits of furniture, and spars of the ill-fated 
vessel are washed ashore. The ship has literally 
been split in two by the force of the water, and 
one half is grounded near a sunken reef of rocks 
close to the natural pier. The fishermen in blue 
jerseys and long boots are down on the beach 
watching the sea and gathering in pieces of the 
wreck for firewood. 

Mr. Dods's life has hitherto been a quiet un- 
eventful one. Nothing in the whole course of 
it has so stirred his soul and his passions as his 
marriage. At fifty-two years of age he had 
fallen helplessly in love with a girl of seventeen, 
and like the summer sunlight on the yellow 
brcomy knowes and purple heather round Car- 
mylie, she is fading away very quickly from him. 
The minister had been attached to his father 


and motlier as a dutiful son should be attached 
to his parents^ and they had died and been buried 
in the kirk-yard under the hedge of sweet-scented 
wall-flowers lining the kirk wall in the spring with 
their fragrant blossoms, but he had not mourned 
them for ever. It was in the course of nature 
that they should die and be buried, and that 
their son should enter into their inheritance. 
" Which is the nearest, which is the dearest ?" It 
is the wife. He cannot bear to think of parting 
from Thyrza ; he has wearied disconsolately when 
absent from her for even a single day, and 
now to part from her through the narrow 
gate of death ! The more intimately he knew 
her^ the more the girl increased in favour with 
him. And deceive himself as he will, he sees 
that though calmer and more conscious, she is 
much weaker and less capable to resist the sickness 
that has taken such grievous hold upon her. 
How desolate the places will be that have known 
the charm of her presence ! What will he do 
when she is gone ! 

Summoning Tibbie to stay with Thyrza, he 
goes out to the village. His remedies have 
proved unsuccessful, and his medical knowledge 
is slight. For cases of emergency, and when 
the road to Queensmuir is closed as it now is, 
he has a few simple medicines in a chest. In 


the winter the glen is often impassable for three 
weeks at a time. Queensmuir being out of the 
question in regard to medical aid_, Mr. Dods 
turns his attention to the possibility of de- 
spatching men in a boat by sea to Middleby. 
But a glance at the churning fury of the waters 
sending the spray dashing high over the manse 
roof even to the field behind, convinces him that 
no boat could live in such a sea; and that even 
if it could live, no medical man valuing his life 
would put off in a small boat to row twenty 
miles through the dangers of the sand-bar, and 
face those iron-bound walls of rock and steep cliffs. 
He realizes the fact that the notion is mad and 
hopeless. After all, he thinks, the man might orly 
have tortured her with his remedies. She is 
young ; she has never had a dangerous illness 
before ; her constitution is strong and vigorous. 
All this is in her favour, and while there is life 
there is hope. 

'' If it is the Lord^s will that she should die, 
not all the doctors that are in Scotland could 
heal her ; but gin it is the Lord^s will that she 
should live, she^ll get weel without doctor or 
medicine,^^ says Tibbie, with the true fatalism 
of her race and her religion, ^' it a^ depends upon 
whether her hour is come/^ 

The minister walks with subdued and reverent 


tread into his wife's room,, where she has spent 
so many dreamy hours in the autumn at the 
open window looking out at the solemn grand 
mass of the Witches Law, with its three peaks, 
while the sea ebbed and flowed through the stake- 
nets over the brown- coloured dulse rocks under 
the splintered crags, shining like the silver scales 
of a salmon just lifted out of the trap, with the 
water glistening upon it, and the golden sun- 
shine flickered on the long line of blue foam- 
crested billows, as blue, if not bluer than the sky 
above it. 

And now Thyrza is dying. 

She lies very tranquil and still, so still that 
but for the straining eff'orts to draw an easy 
breath, one would think it must be death. 

The colour has gone out of the brown cheeks ; 
the soft eyes are fixed on the minister as if 
entreating him to help her ; the feverish lips are 
unclosed, and the delirium has ceased. Mr. 
Dods almost hustles Tibbie out of the room as 
she repeats, that if the girFs hour has come she 
must wear away, and kneeling beside the bed he 
gazes long and earnestly at Thyrza. He scarcely 
recognises Thyrza, the gay, bright, happy Thyrza, 
so fond of " fun " and dancing and pretty dresses 
and pretty things and high-heeled shoes, and all 
mauDcr of little girlish vanities and innocent 


frivolities^ in this pale tired face between whicli 
and the next world there seems to be so brief a 

The wintry afternoon deepens into the gloaming. 
The gale goes down and the wind comes softly, 
blowing from the lone heights of the haunted 
Witches Law, and the wild bleak moorlands, 
sobbing, moaning, crooning with the sad sound 
a rain wind alone has, lamenting its woes to the 
salt- sea waves, sighing round the eaves of the 
old manse, while the rain falls heavily on the 
roof, dripping and splashing over the slates. 

Mr. Dods has lighted a lamp and placed it on 
a table some distance from Thyrza's bed; the 
gloaming and the night are just about to meet. 
She looks at him with a gleam of intelligence in 
her bright eyes. 

^^ My dear,^^ he says, inquiringly, ^^ what can I 
do for you ?" 

She makes a gesture with her hand towards 
the Bible ; and the minister finding a chapter 
which has always been a favourite of hers begins 
to read that most beautiful chapter which has 
given comfort to many a broken-hearted man 
and sorrow -laden woman, " Let not your heart 
be troubled, ye believe in God, believe also in 
me. In my Father^s house are many mansions. 
If it were not so, I would have told you.''-' 


But tlie minister's voice grows hoarse and 
choked ; he cannot read nor see the words, for 
hot bitter scalding tears such as men rarely- 
shed, wrung from the unspeakable sorrow of his 
soul, fall on the sacred page and obliterate the 
holy message for wounded hearts like his. 

" Oh, God, spare her !" he cries, " she is 
my all." 

He prays as he has never prayed before, 
although he has offered up many prayers both in 
his pulpit and in the privacy of his chamber, 
eloquent prayers, earnest prayers, prayers adapted 
to the wants of the fisher-folk and the shepherds 
and farmers in the glen ; still he never prayed as 
he now does. For he is praying for the light of 
his eyes, for the joy of his life, what is necessary 
to his happiness, what he values beyond all 
things, past, present, and to come, for his girl- 
wife, Thyrza. The worth of prayer comes home 
to him now. 

Yet how weak, how impotent, how utterly help- 
less in himself, he feels in the presence of the great 
angel of Death, greater than the greatest power of 
life. Weighed in the balance how poor and worth- 
less are the highest honours of the world ! How 
vainly do his great love and burning prayers con- 
tend against it ! How feeble his most passionate 
struggle against it, when the Great Reaper steals 


into the bedroom, and tlie silver cord loosed, and 
the golden bowl broken. 

" Thyrza dearest, shall I raise your head for 
yon V^ he asks, with infinite love in his action 
and voice. 

But little Thyrza is very still, death has 
quieted the hot fever, all the restlessness, and 
eager passionate intensity of her loving and inno- 
cent heart, ended all " the unsatisfied longings,^' 
and taken her over the dark mysterious waters 
of the unseen world to the eternal shore. Death 
ends the busy drama of life, and over its hopes 
and fears, its brief joys and more lasting sorrows, 
drops a heavy impenetrable curtain, from beyond 
which, though so many have gone before, none 
have come back to tell what lies behind. 

'' Thyrza dear,^^ says the minister again, 
rising and bringing the lamp to the bedside. 

And then he sees, that even while he prayed 
Thyrza has gone along the " silent starlit road of 



3 0112 084209243 


h'.f^M^^yX &4h'-